26 October 1919

St. Hilda’s Hall



                My dear Mother,

Very many thanks for the parcel, and your letter and the money enclosed.  The blouse travelled beautifully.  I forget whether I said last week that the pink and white striped blouse fitted quite as well as the blue and white, which is to say it’s a wee bit on the small side, but quite possible.

26.10.19  The Eight with MrBest as cox.

26.10.19 The Eight with MrBest as cox.

I don’t think I ever had such a hectic time as we have had this week.  On Monday Dr A. kept us till 10.30 p.m. because he was pleased to say we sang badly, which he always does.  Anyway the Mass is a brute!  On Tuesday we went to an S.C.M. meeting which should have been at Somerville, and turned out to be at St. Hugh’s, half as far again!  On Wednesday I had two coachings, a hockey practice, and the historical society.  Miss Levett was quite angelic in the special coaching.  She talked philosophy with us all the time.  On Thursday, a man came to photograph us for the Ladies’ Pictorial or some such rag.  Anyway all we gig people had to trot down to the Isis at 1.10 to be photographed in the Eight.  The joke is that it was a fixed seater, owing to Salters’ mistake, and we should have had some difficulty in rowing it if we had tried, being all gig people.  Of course we always have a sliding clinker!  You should have seen Best and the photographer!  He wanted to take us across stream at first!  Then when Best stood up in the stern holding the lines in his best style, the young man told him “you can sit down now”!  Best was finally provoked into remarking that he had been on the river 60 years!1  After all this I had a practice match with the 1st XI against L.M.H. and Mrs Selbie to tea!

On Friday I took intercession at 7.50 a.m. and also opposed the motion in debate – “That it is better to build beautifully than quickly.”  It was not at all a bad debate – no pauses, and the freshers spoke up quite decently.  Yesterday Gwen came to tea, and in the evening we had a W.E.A. meeting,  Today my activities have been confined to writing an essay and hearing Dr Selbie preach a very good sermon at Mansfield this morning.

Gwen goes home on Tuesday, rather apprehensively, fearing to find a house full of Aist furniture and relations!  I have promised to go and stay with her after Easter.  Yesterday when we were walking round the meadows we met Llewelyn and Dolly.  It was the first time that I had seen Gwen’s brother.  I rather liked the look of him.

Doris writes me to say that her engagement is now public property.  Una tells me that Kitty Anderson is also engaged, and Gwen heard from Myra Atkinson that Enid Podmore had done likewise.  I’m glad you lectured Phyllis on the subject.  Did John Cuthbert behave himself?

I had a letter from Auntie Lucy this week.  She and Grannie sounded pretty well, but the Whites are in trouble again as usual.  Only the maid, this time, however.

My dearest love to Daddie and Max.  I hope the toe is better.

Your loving daughter,


1There is certainly a photo of the rowing eight in which Best is standing.  The story behind it makes it all the more interesting.

The next letter will be posted on 31 October 2016.