3 November 1918

St. Hilda’s Hall



                My dear Mother,

Many thanks for your letter and parcel, which arrived quite safely on Friday morning.  The cake was delicious, also the oat-cakes – much appreciated by Joan Curzon, you may like to know – and I was over-joyed to see the stockings.  The washing here is in an awful muddle here owing to the illness of the laundry staff, so tomorrow I intend to send you some blouses and my new stockings.

The Flue has now left us – all our people are up, including maids.  The convalescents go home for a few days, or else up to Boar’s Hill in pairs, to complete their recovery.  Thus we were able to celebrate Hallowe’en in style.  Gibbie came up on Thursday and came in with our year in the celebrations.  We had a gigantic cocoa in the big room on the top landing, to which we all went dressed as each other.  Gibbie came as Violet Latham.  After lights out at 10.45 we collected all the candles we could find – one for each month of the year – and put them on the floor in rows of three, and then jumped over them.  If your skirts flauted1 a candle out, that particular month was supposed to be unlucky for you!  You can imagine the noise!  Then when we had all done that we pooled all the candles together and tried how many we could blow out at one gasp.  Joan won with a score of 7 out of 12.  There were only 4 of the 3rd year present, the rest were convalescing.  They dressed up as the Senior Common Room – Silvia was the B, Audrey the Levett, Muriel Miss Griffith, the new classical don, and Bride was Baussy, the Levett’s great pet.  They were priceless!

This week is old students week-end.  Gwen, Gibbie, Edith and Susan all are here.  Last night we had a killing debate.  The motion was “that the mind of a woman student on going down is diseased”!  Daisy Adler proposed and Gibbie opposed.  It was killing! – everyone came – all the dons, even the B.  The B. suggested Cambridge as a cure!  There were plenty of old students present to point the moral.

I am quite sorry to resign my job of laying the breakfast.  Lately I have been helped by two freshers, May Spurway and Mary Locker.  They are both of them dears, and I have great fun teasing them.  I am getting very fond of them.

I could go to see the Moores any Sunday now, so would you write?  By the way Best has delivered judgment on my rowing and says I may row on sliding seats, so I am feeling bucked!  G.Bobs paid me the compliment of picking my last essay to pieces!  The only merit he allows me is clearness.

I have remembered Emmie’s birthday all on my own.  Please send me the date of Teddie’s.  I will not forget our boy2.  I hope both are quite well by now.  I was glad to hear Donald was getting on all right.  I should think that was the result of boarding school.

My dearest love to Daddie and the boy, and of course to yourself.

Your loving daughter


1Flauted – a clear evocation but not in the dictionary. This sounds like a serious fire risk , given the length skirts they wore!

2Margot’s little brother’s birthday was 8th November.

Next letter to be posted on 10 November 2015