Monday, 8 June 2015

8th June 1935 - Mary to Terrick

West Raunton

June 8th 1935

Darling - I have been intending to write this in some exciting place - so that I could say - "I am writing this on the precipitous cliff edge" or "on the site of some ancient Roman encampment" - (like the dear man in H.V. Morton's 'Steps of the Master' "who had been allowed a year's trip round the world by his wife and wrote to her from every historical spot" - 'I am sitting at the top of the leaning tower of Pisa' - or 'I am now watching the sun rise form the middle of the sea of Galilee') - but - ever since we arrived the wind has been blowing in such a gale that to take a pad out of doors would mean complete chaos - so I thought you'd prefer a readable letter from plain "in-doors" - "I am sitting at an ordinary writing desk in a sitting-room with 3 arm-chairs and a gaudy carpet, looking out onto a privet hedge.  It is 10.15pm and we are all full of the most excellent dinner of roast beef - beans and new potatoes".

It's a very nice clean little house with electric light and gas and a bath and can sleep 7 easily - so we're very sorry we couldn't get more people to come, as we have so much waste space - but it's a save on the washing-up.  Miss X asked me again if we couldn't persuade you to come - and it would have been wonderful to have had you here - but I said you were going to Fort William - so I do hope you were able to go.

Today we went shopping in Cromer - a very typically sea-side "resort" - and this afternoon Miss & Mrs X went to sleep and Patricia and I wandered along the cliff with books and rugs and chocolate - and found a magnificently sunny sheltered ledge half way down the side on which we disported ourselves in supreme contentment, to arise at 4.0 and take a gentle paddle in the sea before returning home to cut cucumber sandwiches for tea.  Tomorrow we have all sworn to bathe - if the wind drops  bit.  It's much less boisterous this evening owing to overwhelming thunderstorm about 2 hours ago.  We found a tiny little downy bird in the back garden after lunch, and as he couldn't fly we climbed a ladder and put him back in an empty nest - hoping it was his.  But the storm must have thrown him out, and he killed himself - so we had to bury him this evening after dinner.  It was very sad - because he could nearly fly.

I haven't taken any photographs yet, because I'm becoming rather particular about my subject matter - only I will take one or two sometime just to show you what it was like.  There is an old Roman camp just up wooded hills behind us, which we're going to look at tomorrow (after our lunch of duck & green peas!) - and also a rather nice looking old ruined priory.  The journey up took us exactly 5 hours - stopping in a very nice hay-field for tea just past Baldock.  The café in Baldock reminded me of the way up and back from F.W. - on the way back we seriously considered sending you a sarcastic post-card from there!

The Norfolk scenery is frightfully flat but you come across very nice patches.  Barton Mills was the prettiest village we came through; with a most lovely square, Georgian "Bull Inn" over-looking a tree-hung river.

I feel it's about time I stopped this rambling and partook myself to bed.  Patricia has been engaged for the past two hours on a ""Mammoth" jig-saw puzzle of 'over 400 pieces' of Exeter Cathedral - she sends her love and says she's fed up as progress is so slow.  We are sharing a bedroom which has a most wonderful sweep of sea from the window.  It's her turn to switch off the light tonight - hooray!  I'm glad you keep my letters because one day they'll serve as a kind of reference diary for me which I can look up to discover what nice things I did when I was young.

This is being a very nice weekend and Miss X is a dear to have asked me - but I find I can't quite put all my heart into it, as my heart doesn't all belong to me these days.  If ever I find myself somewhere peaceful and beautiful or interesting or amusing, the bit of my heart that is no longer mine always calls to me from somewhere else and says "I wish Ticky were here - he would enjoy it all".

Things have come to a pretty pass!!

All my love.


Mary Pleasant

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