May to David 4.3.18 [3.4.18] Letter No 99
My dear David,
Ethel had an enjoyable time at Gt Stukely and learnt something of rural life. It must be alright for a holiday but I don’t reckon I would like to live at that hole, chiefly on account of the water arrangements, or rather, the want of them as the portion of the village that Ethel stayed in depended on one pump for their water, and that went wrong some time back, so instead of getting it mended they use the water out of their water butts! Ethel said it made the tea taste smokey. Aren’t some folks the limit. We must have water laid on at the bungalow. The Wraights who are now living at Purley have invited Ethel there for the day next Sunday and she says she must go as it was through them she had her holiday, and she has some messages for them. Nuisance. I wanted to spend the weekend at Balham; now I shall have to write to Mrs Taylor and put her off a week, and I know she wants me. She always does, bless her, and makes me so welcome. She is spoiling me wholesale which you will find out when you return, and which I expect will be before the summer is over.
Esther wrote to me the other day. David is expected to be sent abroad any day now, and she wants a cottage somewhere in the country, and do I know of one etc etc. Their furniture is still at Finchley Rd flat, but they have been living in Bucks, lately. Not being an encyclopedia like you I have told her to write to the town clerk of whatever provincial town she would like.
The workmen started yesterday, and moreover, turned up again this morning. We are in hopes of getting them out of the house by the end of the week. Guess I will have a busy Sunday.
I told you my old cleaner was taken queer. I now hear that she was so bad last Saturday that they had to take her to the Infirmary as she must have attention night and day. I wrote to her there telling her I would come and see her one day, and that I thought she was very wise to be taken there (she had told me some time back it would break her heart to go) seeing she would get hospital treatment and get well quicker that way, but she was too ill to write, and someone else replied for her. Poor soul, I guess her days are about up.
Do you remember I told you about one of our Acquired Companies that was not working satisfactorily and worrying chief into his grave? Well, they have fetched up from the Liverpool Office one of our men who is reckoned smart, and I was introduced to him. As far as I can make out he seems very shrewd but has no experience in the kind of work now before him, and has asked me, through the Accident Supt mostly, to help him. He is having a room to himself in this other Company, so I promised to run down to him every now and then and give him ½ hour when I could spare it. He sees a decent sort, but there are not many men who can tackle girl clerks somehow. Isn’t it strange?
We are fearfully busy and getting worse, so I must dry up. Your letter hasn’t come yet, ie the one dated 1st Feb.