18 William Street ,
My dear Mother,
Ever so many thanks for your two packages, which both arrived quite safely. Joyce was very pleased to see the shortbread. Thanks also for the buckle which is now sewn on my slipper, though how long it will stop there is quite another matter.
I find that I have left all the notes I made in the vac. carefully behind on the said green note book where you found the letters. Would you mind collecting them and including them in your next parcel?
We are getting along quite comfortably with the housekeeping. Batey proves a very efficient cook. Her pastry is quite nice, and she can even cook a potato to a turn. The whole family is most anxious to do us well. Mr Bates is a florist, and supplies us well with flowers. Also our potatoes and other vegetables come off his allotment.
The two Miss Gurneys at my house are rather dears, and are most considerate. They had no latch key for me, and at first it was rather awkward, as I had to trouble them every time I left my handkerchief behind. However, on Monday the younger sister solemnly presented me with a button-hook, and shewed me how to pick the lock with it! So now we are all quite happy, and I am in training for a house-breaker!
I have done no practical work this week at all. Demonstration lessons begin this next week, and I put in a fortnight at Milham Ford the following week. Miss Talbot has also promised to arrange for me to put in another fortnight after the end of this term in a school near home.
Nevertheless I have been reading hard, for Dr Keatinge has presented us with a comprehensive scheme of essays for the term, which mean rather stiff reading. The Essay class begins on Saturday and continues on Monday. Yesterday Dr K. heard three essays read, all from the men, which was considerate of him! The subject was Helen Keller, the deaf and blind girl in whom you know Mrs Robinson is so interested. Men must have funny minds, judging by these essays! Doris comes to all my lectures, which is nice, and also to the essay class and seminar., though she has no time to write essays.
It was perfect weather up till Thursday, when a thunderstorm broke up the fine spell. I have been on the river every afternoon this week, and Joyce says I look much better, taking the credit to herself.
It is really horrid weather for Auntie Hilda, still we have done a good bit. On Friday evening I took her all over the Hall and we had a little walk round the town. Yesterday Joyce in cap and gown took her round the Bodleian and the Divinity Schools while I was at my essay class. We met at 11.30 at the Cookery School, after which J. went to a lecture and I took Auntie Hilda into Blackwell’s, through All Souls, and round Adders. In the afternoon it was fine enough for us to go on the river so I punted Auntie Hilda down to the New Cut and thence up above Magdalen Bridge. Doris came to tea and afterwards Auntie Hilda and I went to Evensong at Magdalen, which was very beautiful and soothing. After supper we told Auntie Hilda something about the S.C.M. and discussed the scheme for today’s Study Circle. Auntie Hilda and J. get on very well together. J. has been quite herself and not a bit shy, a habit I think she is growing out of.
Please give my love to Daddie and tell him I will send him a statement of accounts next week. Also much love to Max – I hope Thucy. and Eurip2. and Cicero and co are getting along all right, also Ronnie’s French. I am sorry to hear about Auntie Bell. I hope she will be all right.
We are going to have a Social with dancing in the last half of term, so must hurry up and finish my vest. Will you send me a bone crotchet hook to do the top with? Also I would like a little lace to put on the cammy I want to make out of that crêpe de chine blouse. Could you send me some of that in Grandma’s cap box?
Auntie Hilda sends her love and says she is having a very good time. At the moment she is immersed in an S.C.M. book.
Your loving daughter,
1Adders: Oxford slang for Addison’s Walk in Magdalen College Gardens.
2Thucydides and Euripedes.
Next letter to be posted on 24 October 2-17.