29 October 1918

St. Hilda’s Hall

Oxford.

28.10.18

P.S. That beast Rags made me play forward at hockey this afternoon! – had me running like a kid of 11!  After rowing too!  Mean!!

My dear Mother,

I am so sorry not to have written to you before.  I entended [sic] to write to you yesterday, but had such a bad headache last night that I thought I would wait and see if I had got “flue” before I wrote.  I retired to bed before supper, and the B. came up and took my temperature.  It was well below normal, so we decided it was not flue, but perhaps an aftermath of the plague I had had on the previous day, which the Levett took in hand.  She made me sit over my fire all day and read light literature and forbade me to wait at dinner.  I took Baptisia1, and the consequence was my plague disappeared before dinner.

There are only four of the students still in bed.  The Bursar is all right, but weak, so is to be sent away for a holiday.  The doctor is sending the worst cases home to their mothers for a few days, much to their delight.  Darnell has had it badly, and has gone home to day.  The survivors – so far – are Muriel, Audrey and Silvia in the 3rd year, Paddy, Gerry, Isabel, Joan Curzon, Fay and I in our year, and about half a dozen of the 1st Yr.

The kitchen staff is the worst.  All the parlour maids and the cook are down – the kitchen is run by 2 poor washed-out little kitchen maids and about four charwomen.  We wait at dinner, carry round trays and help wash up.  My particular job I have made is laying breakfast.  You would laugh at my present mode of life.  I am Muriel’s A.de C.  We share her alarm clock.  We wake each other at 6.30.  We both dress, and I wake the top landing at 7.00 a.m.  Then we both go down into the common room and work by the anthracite stove.  At 7.30 I depart to set breakfast.  Only I know how to do it, for all the parlourmaids are in bed.  It is rather fun if a bit strenuous and hard on your work.  However Grant Bobs understands.  He asked us if we had been scrubbing floors on Saturday.

He was very sweet over our essays.  Said they were clear, but chronological, which is a crime in his eyes.  He said that they would do – for 3rd class work!  We were both capable of writing better!

I am glad Max and Teddie are better.  Take care of both our men, for this flue is deadly – and most of all of yourself.  The only preventives are – according to G. Bobs – rest, warmth, good food, and – freedom from overwork and worry!!!  But, seriously, I warn you, if you have it, – I shall come home immediately!

I sent off my new combs2 and two new pairs of stockings this morning – also the Virginian to Jack.  I got a quite nice pair of mole stockings here at the Scottish Wool Shop – 5/3.  The result is I am short of money – as usual.

Please give my love to Daddie and the boy and all the Faulkners – including the Major.  Tell Betty I practised 3 hours yesterday.

Your loving daughter

Margot.

1Baptisia, a very strong homeopathic remedy, now only available from a homeopathic doctor or chemist, not over the counter .  Margot’s mother used many homeopathic medicines.

2‘Combs’ are combinations, an all-in-one vest and pants, long-legged of course at least to the knee.

Next letter to be posted on 3 November 2015.

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