12 March 1918

S. Hilda’s Hall

Oxford

12.3.18

                My dear Mother,

Very many thanks for your letter and Daddie’s and also for the parcel.  Are you sure you didn’t send me Lucy’s cake as well as mine?  They will be invaluable this week, as we have a polite cocoa every night!  We shall have about exhausted our small joint stock of politeness by the time we have done.  We, by the way, is Joyce and myself.

Last week was on the whole very exciting.  We began on Monday with the hockey cupper, played against St Hugh’s – absolutely the best match I ever saw in my life.  We lost 2-6, but it was such a good game that nobody minded.  The game went at a terrific pace, up and down the field the whole time.  You should have seen our S.S. take the ball right up the field – she runs miles faster than any won [sic] else, once she’s away, no one can catch her up – it was most thrilling.

On Tuesday I spent the first half of the afternoon going down the side of the Hall on ropes out of various windows.  I went three times from the second floor, and once from the third.  It was rather fun, but left me breathless and I was stiff for the rest of the week.  However I was really quite pleased with myself, for I wasn’t scared, while our best hockey player has had to retire from the Fire Brigade because the ropes give her fits.

Last Saturday was a truly strenuous day.  To begin with, I have lectures all morning.  At 2.0 was a hockey match between the 1st Eleven, reversed (i.e. backs playing forward, and forwards back) and the 2nd Eleven.  It was great fun.  I never enjoyed anything so much in all my life.  For once we 2nd XI defence got a real good game.  I did enjoy knocking about the shooting of the 1st XI backs.  Muriel, our revered centre half, played left wing and we did our best to slay each other.  The game was all down our end, as the 2nd XI forwards are rotten.  The 1st XI centre forward and right wing, who defended their goal, spent most of their time sitting on the grass and chatting.

After that there was a Bach Choir practice from 5-7 p.m. and after dinner the Hist Soc. at which I opened the discussion on Tudor Women.  It was great fun to get up.  I burrowed in all sorts of interesting books.

Sunday was a very lively day.  I had a Saint Simon paper to finish and was nearly driven to distraction by the other events.  In the afternoon was the Bach Choir concert – Haydn’s “Creation” – “Dirge for 2 Veterans” – Charles Wood.  Symphony by Cesar Franck.  Our orchestra was augmented by wind and percussion from London.  A really good baritone was also imported, to sing the solo of the Dirge and the bass part in the oratorio.  It was quite a nice concert.  After we had got home and had tea, about 6.0. pm. I discovered I could not turn my light on over my paper, descended to Joyce’s room, with the same result.  Same in all 1st year rooms, also Darnell’s and Muriel’s – so finally had to take refuge in a 3rd yr room

I finished my paper, and departed for L.M.H. with it, and got shut in the park on the way.  Had to enter the lodge by the back entrance, the keeper’s wife informed me I should make a good burglar.  Finally I got back to supper, and found an indignation meeting at the bursar’s table in re the lights, headed by Muriel.  Nothing to be said – let the joke fall quite flat.  After supper, the said lights were discovered in the letter pigeon holes in the hall.  Great confusion in restoring them – mirabile dictu only one had fused.  This last event, however, embittered the Bursar, who had hitherto taken the affair as a joke, and next morning a little note appeared on the notice board requesting an interview with the perpetrators of the act.  But the whole thing came out on Sunday night.  Joyce came up to tell me after I had gone to bed that that precious pair, Darnell and Rags were the culprits!  I never saw a better piece of acting – it was superb in its way.

Last night (Monday) the first year gave an entertainment to the rest of the Hall.  The programme was varied.  The Wild West Cinema Play, enacted for the benefit of the 1st yr. only in Finance Week was repeated, much to the delight of the Hall.  The theological student sang “Father’s got the sack from the Waterworks” with great comic effect, and also acted the sleep walking  Scene from Macbeth to the light of a candle with much dramatic effect.  I sang a kind of “cautionary tale”, only more in the  nursery rime [sic] style, concerning a cat who taught kittens “how to spit and sware”[sic], with much appropriateness as far as the S.C.R. were concerned, so everyone seemed to think.  But the great event of the evening was a mock debate, conducted on the lines of a parody of Hall Debate – announced on the programme as “10 minutes with the 1st year”.  It was awfully well written by two of our year and the great difficulty was to rehearse without the knowledge of the other years.

I must really stop now.  Much love to Daddie and the kid,

Your loving daughter

Margot.

Next letter to be posted on 15 March 2015

 

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