May to David 17 South Terrace, Littlehampton 23.9.17 Sunday
My dear David,
What a week I have had! I expected to write to you each day but these three children keep “Auntie” well employed, and then in the evening there is a good deal of mending etc to do. Esther and I have our supper at 8.30 and are off to bed at 9.30. We have breakfast at 8.30, getting up at 7.30, then a strenuous day commences. One day we had the biggest castle on the sands. The children are so funny, and it is difficult to keep a straight face often. For instance in the middle of a meal the youngest suddenly remembers grace, and putting her hands together jumbles out something. Then the other two soon get tired of it, so say “A-h-men” and then they commence and finish with “O Lord stop the war quick and send father down here.” The other day one said “O Lord I dot me mouth full wait a minute”, but the other two wouldn’t wait and saved time by saying their prayers at the table while the youngest emptied the contents of her mouth on the plate. David came down today with his officer chief, a bachelor, who was highly amused at the children. The weather is very fresh and bracing and I feel all the better for the change which is such a big change, as I am living in a baby world. We had two wet afternoons during the week, so I set the two eldest to do a page of the alphabet, and then when the quicker writer, who was Mary, had finished told her to feel in my magic coat pocket. She found a beautiful green bead necklace. That bucked up Madeleine and then she found a yellow bead necklace. Of course after that Nathalie had to find one. They have also found hair ribbons and small looking glasses, and although I am watched very closely, often feeling in my pocket, they have never detected me putting anything in. I am supposed to be very friendly with a fairy godmother who rewards good children.
I had a letter from Mrs Taylor this morning. She is not coming down. She wrote from Watford where she is enjoying herself. Your favourite aunt is better.
The other day I heard from Maud. She is put in another section of the Marine Fire Dept and says she is afraid her business capabilities are not so good as she thought they would be. She is not near Mr Bishop now as she is working in the Committee room with 2 or 3 more girls.
I am enclosing one of the old snapshots I wrote to you about and will send another next week if I can.
I must now write to Maud as I have not done so since I have been here and I promised her I would. Believe she has the hump. Longing to hear how you are.
This is a pleasure to be able to drop you a line, I hope you are feeling better and that we shall be having you home soon. Well this has been a most enjoyable week having Mabel with us getting her hand in. She is absolutely splendid with the children. She might have been used to them all her life. I only wish you were here to enjoy her company as well. She is going to make an ideal wife. When I get the time, I’m going to give her a few lessons in cooking and then she will be perfect, of course I’ve only her word for it. I expect she can cook really but you know how she understates her capabilities. However I can talk for her propensities in the care of children she is wonderful!!!! I’d like to tell you all, but space is limited. Good luck warm remembrances,