29 April 1918

S. Hilda’s Hall,

Oxford,

29.4.18

                My dear Mother

Many thanks for sending on the diary – it arrived quite safely this morning.  I have been to the Golden Cross, and seen the manageress.  She says it is possible to allow for meals à la carte, but it would make the charge for the rooms more.  She presented me with a tariff, which I enclose. I went over some of the rooms, but she could not tell me which you would be able to have.  It is a most quaint and rambling old place.  I said you would let her know as soon as possible.

My things arrived this morning from Mrs Christian.  I am very pleased with them, and particularly with the coat.  It is most smart.  I enclose the bill.  I will write and thank her for them – she really has been awfully quick.  By the way will you send me the rest of the paisley.  I have an idea of making a collar for my costume coat to match my hat.  Will you also send me any coloured silks you have that would match any of the shades in the paisley, for I see the collar on my dress is edged with three different coloured silks in a most ingenious way which I am sure I could copy.  I have nearly finished trimming my pink hat – it is getting done by instalments.  Now only half the inner edge remains to be sewn down.  Will you please also send, or bring with you when you come, my little pincushion, which is, I believe, reposing on the second shelf in the sideboard cupboard.  Also I have left behind my little nail brush with the white handle, which I expect is still on my washstand.

That round cake I brought up is a beauty, and was much appreciated at a tea party we had yesterday comprising Joyce, Bronwen, Evelyn Ellis and myself.  We had a bumper tea, and then played “Nothing but the truth” till it was time to go to New College.  We had great sport.  Joyce was the only one who managed to escape telling a lie;  Evelyn and I told three each, and Bronwen two!  In the evening we had a First Year Cocoa as a sort of farewell to West, the theological student, who is going down because all the books she wants are in London.  We decided not to do the Greek stunt until this time next year, when she hopes to be up again – I can’t make out at all what on earth the woman is at! – and when we shall be second years with no exams immediately before us.

I went all round the town this morning, seeing coaches and things, and have been sculling this afternoon.  We came in at 4.0., since when I have had tea, and done a brutal Latin Unseen – very badly, as I had to hurry in order to catch the 6.0 messenger, which I did by the skin of my teeth, and by sacrificing the last sentence of the Unseen.  In twenty minutes’ time I must go down to early dinner and thence on to Bach Choir.  What a life! The Bursar thinks we can comply with the Lighting Order1 without affecting our use of the lights in our rooms, which is a blessing.  They have been reduced by 2/3.

I really must stop, or I shall never get changed for dinner.  Please give my love to Daddie and the kid,

Your loving daughter,

Margot.

1More war-time restrictions, this time on lighting;  the college windows would have to be well-screened by curtains to obscure the town from enemy aircraft.

Next letter to be posted on 5 May 2015

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