Wednesday, 16 October 2013

16th October 1933 - Mary to Terrick

Old Vicarage School
Richmond.  Surrey.


- Thank you ever and ever so much!! - There it was just sitting smugly on the hall table as I let myself in the front door (I own a latch-key!) - Oh, Gosh! - if I told you all the feelings that went on inside me when I picked it up - and also I spent the whole of my lonely supper digesting it - well, it would be tremendously bad for you - because I metaphorically threw my arms around your neck and kissed you a hundred times! - (This is what comes of sitting down to answer a letter directly after receiving it!)

You couldn't have made it a nicer letter - It just came at the right moment and had just the right effect.  Did you mean it to do all this?

- Thank you for sending the photographs back again - and the ones of you - I don't know whether I like you looking quite such a "he-man" - because I don't recognise my Fort William rep. - but it's all right when I get to the face! - and of course, the company!!

I've come to the conclusion (once again) that you hardly know anything about me, do you?  I passed Matric years ago (when I was young, in fact!) - but without Latin - so tonight I have had another two hours sweat on Declensions & Conjugations & piles of necessary rules!! I'm so slow - and went puce tonight when I was informed I had made a prime howler! - Specially as the class consists of about 30 hulking lads and three meagre females - and the very dearest of professors.  Aren't females in Colleges dowdy & uninteresting?  Ours are dreadful! - and the men are, if anything, worse, all short and untidy with steel spectacles! - But I have discovered this evening one of the nicest ways of getting the most out of 6d (it was my last bean in the world, owing to Foyle's having cleared me out for French books!) - I was freezing cold and went into a nice "fuggy" Lyons and had a cup of gorgeous coffee for 2d - an enormous 1d bun with chocolate icing on the top - and 'for Sinners Only' - Then a 2d Cadburys block of milk chocolate to eat in the train and a 1d bus to Waterloo - I caught the fast train and felt completely satisfied! - But I had to walk from the station this end as I could only rake up a ½dand the latch-key! (where does money go to?)

- I'm taking Latin, English, French & Geog. for Inter. - and I'm afraid it's going to be at least 4 years before I shall feel it necessary for you to address me as M. Ormiston B.A. - if ever ! - It's appalling the way I have forgotten everything - all my French grammar - and yesterday I was humiliated unto the dust when I went to the Vth form French lesson - I made the most flagrant mistakes Madame Aubrey asked me what my name was - & when I said "Ormiston" - she said 'no, no - I mean your Christian name'!! - So in front of the whole blessed form (whom I have great difficulty in quelling!) I lamely got up & said "Mary" !! (Roars of laughter!) - (But it had it's humorous side!).

I'm rather good, I think, at keeping the children in order - the babies, anyway - and I have just started organising team races in Break - quite successful - so far.  - Thank you for the "experience" tip - was it specially put in for me? - or is it a general mistake? - Yes, thank heaven they are all girls - God forbid I should ever have to drive anything into a male!

I'm sorry to disappoint you about 'For Sinners Only' - but I only stuck it as far as page 63 - and hated it! - It gave me the feeling all the time of 'vulgar propaganda' - perhaps I didn't read enough to understand what they were after - but I'm afraid what I did read struck me as being entirely stupid.  I suppose there must be something in it - but it didn't make me feel interested - All the same, the things you said you had discovered in your letter, I mainly agree with - Let's talk about it one day & see.

- To change the subject - - You know you said you thought you knew who had kissed me before I went away? - Did you think Mervyn? - Because, if so, I feel I must clear his name!  He's the least 'sloppy' boy I've ever met - & we just get on well together because he's never once held my hand- and simply hasn't even thought of kissing me! (That's why he's nice!) - no - it happened to be a very blas√©, terribly young, friend of his from Cambridge, who thought the world of himself - and considered it necessary to finish his day well! - I don't even remember his name! - The second one, on board, was Gerhard Traupe - the Hamburg N.Y.K. boy - who did it most beautifully - just like Jack would!! - & the third (I don't know whether I like owning up to this) - I met him the last night on the boat (I hadn't noticed him before) - he travels for Cuttall's Steel Windows - we discussed business, Germany , war, slums, house-building, ideals, and matrimony - all in everybody's (supposed) original manner (Norah was in bed with a cold!) - we went out on deck for a breather before going to bed & behaved with great decorum.  He enquired whether I would be embarrassed if he kissed me goodnight - & I very lamely said 'Don't be silly' - & he did  - & I hated it - but I didn't see him again and I don't know his name - & ever since I've thought how very cheap & nasty I was - but it didn't seem it a bit while I did it - and, anyway, one learns by experience - & I've promised myself I'll never be so stupid again! - (He was honestly nice, and very well-meaning, though!)

- So now what do you think of me? - I'm sorry to force my "lowness" upon you - but it's better telling someone - & Mummy would have a fit!

- There - now you know the entire whole of my 'lapses from grace' - & I'm filled wih the apprehension that it was stupid of me to tell you !!

- I'll keep your pencil for you - and I'm longing for "Edwy".

- If you think you'll be home on 22nd - that's next weekend that ever is - isn't it?  - I don't suppose for a minute you will be - but anyway I'm not sure if I'm having it off or not - most probably "yes" - but as I specially wan thte 27th weekend (because of the Rivals) - I may have to be on duty on the 22nd instea. - And when you do see me I bet you'll have forgotten everything you meant to say - and we'll find we have to start at the beginning anyway - let's hope you like the new 'me' thought - I'm afraid I'm fatter & uglier & spottier - and far older - & just like anybody else you can pick up anywhere - so what will you do about it? - Perhaps we'd both better go miles away & forget each other!

- I've had to stop 'elocution' - owing to lack of time - Mrs Malaprop will be the last thing I do at 'Holmewood'.

I'm frightfully bucked at the moment about Miss Greig coming to take gym here on Tuesdays.  She taught me at Holmewood, you know - & I was simply mashed on her then!

She's the most wonderful woman I know - & now she's turned up again here - I think God must have done something!  I'm going out to teah with her one Tuesday.  - She was the first person to drum the meaning of 'sporting' and 'unselfish' into me - & for that bless her always! - Although I think perhaps a little more of the latter is still necessary!

- Well, you must be bored to tears with all this about me - but you will allow me that the myriad questions in your letter rather asked for it, didn't they?  - & I believe you did it on purpose because you knew talking about myself would cheer me up!  It does! - and that's why I can't adequately thank your unselfish gesture on my behalf!

- My love

Mary Pleasant x x x 

P.S. I have four weeks holiday at Christmas - so I should go to the Hunt Balls - I should think they're wonderful!

P.P.S. Platonic friendships never work - although I suppose I'm making a good effort!

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