20 January 1918

St. Hilda’s Hall,

Oxford,

20.1.18

                My dear Mother,

I posted you a card last night telling you of my safe arrival, and the serious omissions in my packing.  Later I discovered several others.  I will now give the list –

 +shirts-3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      c*shirts – 3

soap – plain primrose

+bed socks

stockings – old ones

+string (under my bed)

wool – for my knitting

Lemco – clothes-brush

note-paper – (my own best kind,

calendar (the one Daddie gave me at Xmas)

in the cupboard in my room)

Those marked with a cross are the only really important ones, which I should like as soon as possible.  The others will do any time.  I can’t imagine how I came to forget my shirts, but anyway there wouldn’t have been room for them!

I hope you were not  too tired after your portering yesterday, and that you did not have much trouble in getting home.  We had a very lively journey up – there were five of us in the end, for Jacynth joined us from next door.  Muriel carried on as usual, and then complained of the rowdiness of the first years!  We got a cab quite easily at Oxford, and as there were about 10 of our people on the platform we had 3 cabs between us and shared the luggage, while some people cycled to the Hall.  Joyce and I went in one cab with four people’s luggage.  When we had got finally unloaded into the hall, Ella came rushing down and carried me off out with her.  She had had malaria, as I feared, and came straight up to Oxford as soon as she was better.  She has, however, been staying at Headington till term began, and not in Oxford, which was wise as Headington is considerably higher.  I parted from Ella at Weeke’s, went on up the High, and ran into Gwen, who was coming to St. Hilda’s with a note for Miss Burrows.  I walked back with her, and we had quite a nice chat.  She is coming to tea with me on Monday.

After all that I did finally get some tea, and a look at my room.  Everything had arrived and I got it all unpacked and put away before dinner, but did not get really presentable until just before cocoa time.  Joyce and Bronwen and I had cocoa together in Joyce’s room, plus the fresher, Miss Archer, an Australian.  She is quite different from what we expected – much older, for one thing – I should think about 24.  She hasn’t a trace of accent, and seems quite amusing.

It is much warmer here than at home.  Miss Winslow says the place was covered with snow on Friday morning, but it had all gone by Saturday, and in consequence the river is out, which appears to be rather unusual at such an early time of the year.  I don’t know how it will affect boating.

Two of our people are in quarantine for measles, and can’t come up yet, and one second year has gone down.  Supplies are distinctly short – only 1lb of meat per head per week – and no margarine except for cooking – for eating some weird kind of cocoanut butter which looks like lard, and which I have not yet tasted.  It looks as though it will require anchovy.

I must not write any more now, as Muriel has just been up to know if I am going to Mansfield.  Of course, I am.

Your loving daughter

Margot.

Next letter will be posted on23 January 2015

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