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Woodlands Park Hotel
My dear kids,
Thanks a million for your nice newsy letter Mill & Ned - also the cutting with Ces & Meggs well to the fore - gosh I love to get all the bits & pieces - I had your Telegraph supplement & cuttings last week, Ned, thanks very much - I think it is excellent & it has been all round the hotel, everyone was interested - & will you please thank Trix for the wedding cake - it arrived in excellent condition on Monday - I was quite overcome - she was very sweet to think of me - will you please send me her address & I'll write to her, in the meantime, say my thanks & tell her only the little birds head was knocked off - Glad you are all going well - good old Cactus, you won't have long now, I'm glad you are feeling in the pink - Also I was glad to hear Patsy's news - now Blue - work & save hard & go to Sydney & do your shorthand & etc. don't you think that is the best plan - ask Ned, she'll know - only you must try & get her to Sydney before she gets too old - tis the only place to get along well in -
I shall be awfully glad to have the 'Sunday Sun' really, my pets, I get quite a kick out of home papers so keep it up - I will begin sending the Mirror & etc. as soon as the Team arrive - I posted the Cricketer Spring Annual to you last Thursday Ces - I know you will enjoy it, you & Dick & Wal - Try & get hold of Neville Cardus' book - 'Australian Summer' & the one William Pollock wrote - 'So this is Australia' - they should be worth reading - I enjoyed the Annual myself, so be on the look out for it - in 3 or 4 weeks time after you receive this - did I tell you I had written another article for the 'Examiner' - I think it is pretty snappy, but they always cut out my best bits however tell me what you think of it - I had a sprightly letter from Benno telling me to write some more, so I'll have to draw on my imagination & see what I can do - I s'pose 'ere this Walter Clarence is home after his sporting in the town. Did you have a nice holiday my pet? Do you think you could bring yourself to write to a poor lonely sister occasionally - this goes for Patsy, Ces & EARLE - I never hear about his doings - I shall write to them all when the air mail prices go down - Jewish aren't I?
Now kids, I'm fighting fit - I've been here eleven months - need I tell you everything is just as exciting as the day I arrived & I'm loving it - the woods are filled with the most adorable primroses, daffodils everywhere - all the trees are coming to life & England in April, when the sun shines is exquisite - I'm glad I'm in the country. Mill my pet, don't worry about the doings of that lousy Hitler - I'll admit things look awful, but I hope Austria will keep him satisfied for many a long day - I can't think that, as mad as those 2 dirty dictators are, they would plunge the world into war in this year of grace, because with all these modern weapons & gases, no civilisation could possibly survive - they must surely realise that - there will be no need for any battleground, everything will be wiped out almost immediately - only I must admit, Australia is well situated, for in the years to come, she is going to be THE spot. European civilisation is definitely on the downgrade & poor things can't seem to see it - it really didn't matter if in Europe, one is German or Austrian, Italian & etc. one just has to do what dictators say & freedom is quite extinct or probably unknown - England is slow & dithers about, but I don't think she will be attacked, because she can last the distance financially where other nations can't - this may hold those dogs in - but altho' her foreign policy's quite beyond the comprehension of ordinary folk & we've lost lots of prestige abroad - England is very busy doing her stuff - the public are all becoming members of the ARP & the lads who are not in the permanent army all belong to the Territorials & the Air Force flies thro the air day and night, I wakened at 2.30am today & for one awful moment thought good heavens this must be an air raid - I waited for the bombs to fall, but apparently it was only our own Air Force, doing their stuff - what is so dreadful to me, is to think the whole world is in such a ghastly state & so mistrustful of each other, that they arm to the teeth & teach their men how to kill their fellowmen - surely they must realise that this is not the correct design for living - however, don't worry Mill, as I say, if any thing does happen, I may as well be here as anywhere & as for the boys - war would be over before the Australian Contingent left her own shores - with these appalling gases - Nellie & I are being very discreet about our tour, you may be sure we won't do the wrong thing - we are just lying low at the moment, seeing what will happen in Austria, because, as you know, our itinerary includes Vienna, - we are inundated with travel books & hold long communications with each other, but have just not decided on anything yet - besides we won't be leaving London until after the Test at Lords, so we've tons of time yet - My old lady is up & about again - we have started going out in the car again - I tremble at the knees, but they have not said anything about me going yet, so I'm being very charming & helpful because I, naturally, want to stay as long as I possibly can here - tis the only place I can save well - nothing much to spend my money on - only air mail stamps & oranges - I've saved £20 in 9 weeks, so that's almost my trip abroad kids - I don't much care after May if I finish here, but I do hope I can get in the next 6 weeks without moving - bird in the hand, ye ken?
I've finished at the dentist, thank heaven, had 3 teeth filled & am waiting for the bill - but tis a relief to have the wretched things finished - I may as well hang onto & preserve my only redeeming feature, so to speak - Nellie has had a super time at Eton, she finished up on Tuesday & had a big thrill Gerald Lascelles was in under her expert care with query? German Measles - you can imagine how thrilled Marshall was - she said he was an awfully nice kid - aged 13, with glorious complexion, very blue eyes & golden hair & a big chap - very like the royal family & full of mischief - he is much nicer than Viscount Lascelles, Nellie said, she has seen him quite often, of course, he used to come & talk to the Hon. Gerald, thro the window - Gerald used to write letters to his mother on filthy pieces of paper - Nellie said she hoped Grandma wouldn't see but wasn't it a break - I'm green with envy. Her other lads, all with measles of course, were Viscount Ebrington - whose father, Earl Fortescue used to arrive in a 'plane to see the lad, just park it in the field nearby, just like most people park their Rolls & etc. here - & then the other lad was Lord Swansea - he was a darling she said, very young - she really has enjoyed the Eton interlude, saw everything there, all the famous names carved in the schoolroom - Anthony Eden, Lord Roberts (1846) & all the others - poor Anthony Eden - but at least one must admire a man who has the courage to stand by his own convictions & politics is a thankless task at the best of times - but I wish him well & was very sorry to see him go. -
I'm going to dash up to town 'ere long, spring is making me all festive & Oh the shops are ravishing, I want to buy all the lovely things in the windows - Nellie restrains me with - 'No Dee, remember Vienna & Budapest' & immediately I shut my eyes & purse & walk on with great regret in my heart - but if ever I'm alone in town I shall look in the windows & all will be lost - Oh how can any female resist such lovliness & besides I'm still getting round in my old black costume & grey one - I've not had any English clothes yet & the colours make me want to go in & come out like a bird of paradise - the clothes are very colourful this year - complete contrasts together - like London tan & ice blue (ravishing beyond ones' dream; blue & yellow & etc.) I simply must have a blue or green Harris tweed suit, with a yellow sweater - I can make the sweater myself for a few shillings - yum yum - I wish you were over here kids - London is the most heavenly spot in the world - I want to dance & hop every time I go there. Tell me is there any more news of Aunt Eily & Uncle Sydney coming over - let me know - Ned dear, don't forget Ween sails in the 'Jervis Bay' on April 30th, a pr of stockings or something for her - I've not heard from her since Feb. but spose she is coming - I simply must stop this rambling my pets - did you like the snaps I sent you out? Write very soon & send lots of 'Suns' - I still love you all very much & life is swell - I'm afraid I'm getting more hopelessly irresponsible - heaven knows when I can settle down & keep still, but at the moment I feel like a butterfly trying its very new powerful wings - so I must make the most of those said wings - think you all the same? I'm full of beans - feel 100% & my green eye is full of mischief & as I live only for the present, I'm always ready for what the Gods send along - take it with both hands - and why wouldn't I? Tis only spring I spose, so it will pass. I hope Alma is concentrating on a SON - nothing else.
All my love,
Max Johnston hadn't a leg to stand on when he got pneumonia, of course - a man can't play ducks & drakes with a sound body & get away with it. He was foolish - but I spose he wanted it that way -