S. Hilda’s Hall,
My dear Mother,
Ever so many thanks for the parcel, and also for your letter and the enclosure, both of which were very welcome. I was most awfully pleased with the jam, as Hall stocks are running low and we have lately been presented with horrid treacly stuff for tea. The shortbread will be invaluable. The cake you sent last week was most delicious, what did you put in it? It was much liked at a cocoa I gave to three of the nicest of the first year on Thursday, when we broached my box of chocolates, with much joy.
There was no need for you to be anxious about my three days in bed. Nothing at all unusual happened, and it was nearly all laziness and the coaxing of Joyce and Muriel. The real facts of the case were as follows. I worked till 12.0 on Tuesday night in order to finish an essay, so determined not to be wakened next morning, but to have my breakfast in bed. I got up for a 9.0 coaching. That evening I was ill, and went to bed directly after dinner. I decided to have breakfast in bed again the following morning. When Rags came up after breakfast, which she did each morning, she persuaded me, much against my will, to stay in bed till lunch. I went to bed early again that night, not for any particular reason, and when Joyce came up to say good night she insisted on pinning a “breakfast” notice on my door again. I got up at 10 the following morning. The whole thing was really due to laziness and weak surrender to the wheedling of my friends.
I have been sculling twice this week. It is a most amusing game, I like it immensely. The whole affair is very business-like. You must do everything to order, and just so! The exercise is most exhilarating, particularly in a cold wind. On Saturday I went punting, and was vigorously coached by a whole and a half-captain which was very nice, as I want to try for my half next term. I have also begun to coach in punting, which is great fun, much easier than doing it yourself!
Will you please ask Daddie to find out how you become a member of the Guildhall Library? I complained to Stampa that I couldn’t get all the books I wanted, and he suggested that, as he had a pupil who used it for Schools, and got all she wanted there. I want to know as soon as possible, for I have heaps of work to do this vac.
Last Wednesday the B. took us over All Souls and New College, and afterwards Muriel took us into Univ (University Coll.) to see the Shelley Memorial. It is a perfectly beautiful thing! Just a recumbent nude white figure on a block of marble in the midst of a sunken basin of green marble; the light all comes from the top of the dome shaped roof, painted with stars and some verses from “Adonais”.
Oxford is just beginning to blossom into flowering shrubs and trees and bulbs. I hope this sudden cold spell won’t nip everything in the bud. I believe we are going to have some snow. I hope it isn’t going to be a repetition of last spring. It is sure to snow just as I have found out what an exhilarating game sculling is! I want to live on the river these next two weeks.
I am furious with Jack for having leave during term time. I did want to see him. Please give my love to Mrs Faulkner and the children, and tell her I practised 2 hrs on a wet afternoon, and 2 ½ hrs this evening, also wet. I have had a strenuous day. I spent all this morning practising, and then from a quarter to 3 until six I went to a soldiers’ club to help them with tea, etc. The result is I am so tired that I have cut all the rest of this evening’s entertainments, choir-practice, chapel, study-circle, etc, and am now in bed, feeling very sleepy, which accounts for my caligraphy [sic] and general incoherence.
My dearest love to Daddie and the kid. No thanks, I shall not want the holdall, as I am going to send my box home.
Your loving daughter,
Next letter to be posted on 12 March 2015