May to David Beckenham 10.12.17
My dear David,
Now for my regular Monday’s letter.
Left the Office at 12.40 on Saturday, and went off to Balham, arriving there at 1.30 just as dinner was ready. Mrs Day had gone to Glenroy for the weekend to keep Aunt Martha company who is not very well, but not ill enough to have a doctor. So the two of us were together, and I think thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company. Eventually we finished dinner and then sat over a roaring fire and knitted. I did want to finish that waistcoat, but didn’t after all succeed. After tea we went out to get a bottle of port. We wanted to drink your health, which we did. You can guess the topic of conversation the whole of the weekend. I had made a copy of your letter to me, except the last paragraph which was essentially for me only, and Mrs Taylor was very pleased. We came to the conclusion that you were as well off as circs. would allow. I never let her think I worry over you. It would only start her off, and mothers are so good at worrying; they don’t want any encouraging. In the evening I did knitting as well as drink port, and then we had supper – both drinking Ovaltine, and then to bed at about 11.30. Mrs Taylor puts her arm over me to cuddle, so it is cuddled, while I indulge in lovely fancies.
After good night’s sleep we awoke to find a dismal rainy day, but it did not damp our spirits. We had tea in bed, and talked about you. (It appears there never was such a lovely and saintly baby and youngster generally as you were). After breakfast we went to chapel, and had a very good sermon. The anthem, by the bye, was sung quietly – the first quiet singing I have ever heard there, and it was good. The choir master is a very nice man I should think. He gave a lecture a little while back on geology, and showed his collection of fossils. Mrs Taylor went to the lecture which was free, and enjoyed it very much.
I forgot to mention further back that when I read out that bit about buying myself a Xmas present with your money Mrs Taylor said “Quite right, and I’ll keep you up to it. I think I had better come with you.”
After dinner Mrs Taylor lay down on the sofa, but of course did not sleep, though it sounded remarkably like it, while I finished reading a book that one of the girls had lent me. It is called The Definite Object, and is a splendid novel. I did like it. Just before tea we went out to give Peter a run. We followed him very well, and he brought us safely home again. Then we had tea. Then we talked. I forgot to mention we had breakfast and all meals in the drawing room which so cheerful with its blazing fire. Bed at 11.0. How I slept! Off in a few minutes; woke at 5.30 and soon sleep again till 7.15. Tea in bed again, and then I hugged myself till 7.45 when I positively had to get up. It was not quite 10.0, though awfully near it, when I arrived at the Office. Also, we drank port for dinner and during the evening yesterday. You must expect to find me with a red nose when you return!