David to May May 1st 1918 Letter No 22
My Dearest, Your birthday tomorrow and still I am not with you. It does seem and awful time since I left you. Never mind, next time I shall be able to wish you many happy returns in the only proper way. Your letter of March 18th was half cut away, which makes me say thanks each time I look at it. By the way I cannot write to more than one person each time now, so will you please explain to Mum.
It’s awfully good of Muriel to think of sending books to me. Will you please give her my very best thanks and tell her I would write, but correspondence is so limited. “In the Twinkling of an Eye” hasn’t come yet but it should be here soon. Could you send me the following:- (and please get the money from Mum or else how am I to ask you to send me further books) “The Market Garden”, “Manures and Manuring”, “War-Time Gardening”, published by The Small-Holder, 16-18 Henrietta St, WC, at 1/- each I think.
Why couldn’t the G.M. come direct to you with regard to the girls of that other company instead of doing the thing through the Accident Supt. They have got themselves into a mess and instead of coming to you in a decent way and asking you to get them out of it they must get all they can out of you in a round about fashion and then try to clear the matter up that way. Of course they will fail and then you are to have the job of managing the thing “for a while”, or in other words “straightening out the tangle” for them. Though I’ll bet two phennigs (you notice I gamble in German now) they won’t dream of raising your salary to equal that of the manager of the concern, or even repay you in any way and will most probably take all the credit to themselves.
I am enclosing another sketch of the small house with the plans altered somewhat and the elevations worked in a different way. You will see that I have increased the size of the Hall, Kitchen and Larder. Instead of having the porch outside, I have now cut it off the Hall, so that it will form a recess under the Stairs, which can be used for hanging coats etc. In the Drawing Room I have put the fireplace in the corner, which will make that room more comfy, as it gives a much bigger space round the fire. I have also put the north window up the other end facing east, and you will see I have a built-in bookcase. I have put doors leading to the garden in the Dining and Drawing Rooms and these I think we should fit with rolling shutters. Instead of having two windows on the Stairs I have put one, which will go up two stories and which we can glaze with some sort of ornamental glass. Upstairs I have increased the size of bedroom 4 and have altered the position of the bathroom slightly. In bedroom No 1 I have put the fireplace in the corner and have put bay windows in Nos 1 and 3. Of course the elevations are entirely different. I think we might have them entirely in rough cast, with the woodwork stained dark oak. I have put a small canopy over the Entrance door, hung up to the wall with ornamental iron brackets and the frame of the window next to it, (the Hall and stairs window) will stand out from the wall slightly. On the back elevation the two bedroom windows will of course project over the ground floor and also the gables above, these being supported at the ends by ornamental wood brackets.
I have had a letter from Ethel dated February 1st which Mum apparently forwarded. Mum says she read one of Ethel’s letters. I hope it wasn’t this one, as Ethel seems to be tearing her hair rending her garments because Mum is sending me the parcels from Harrods now instead of she (Ethel) herself. Ethel is upset because she says “I enjoyed sending those packages, as it was the one bit I felt I was doing.” There seems to have been a misunderstanding between them about a ham I asked for. Ethel’s letters are sometimes awfully amusing, although perhaps she doesn’t write them for that point of view.
I quite agree with Mrs Muggridge and I am glad she has taken you in hand and is now making you feed decently, instead of the scrappy way you used to. You ought to get some exercise though, especially as you are shut indoors all day. It was strange that you should dream of that bungalow as I have been sketching one, but I haven’t yet drawn it so I cannot send it to you, but will do so next time.
We have two small pups in the camp, one of which seems to have fallen violently in love with me. They usually spend the greater part of their time fighting one another and at the moment are scrapping under my chair. One of them has found a mouse in a very high state of decomposition and they have both suddenly discovered that they cannot possibly live without that mouse. They are always finding things such as this and the more decayed the mouse is, the better they like it.
You mention Easter in your letter. Apparently Easter is a great time here as on the Monday evening I noticed several bonfires round about the camp, one, some distance off, was quite a large one and there was a crowd of lanterns or torches (I could not see which) flickering round about it as though some sort of dance were going on. Your description of the Ladies Golf Corset picture is positively awful (the picture I mean). To what depths have our illustrated papers sunk, and what were you doing to be looking at such pictures, more especially as you say that the picture was “far more shocking to look at”. I am surprised, not to say pained, and I think I shall go to the next church service in order to pray for you.
I think when I get back we must spend a month having train journeys together – no we won’t though, because I expect we shall find lots of other things to do that will be much nicer even than that. Can’t you think of some – I can.