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|May 27th 1938||PS - Heather Anderson sails for home on the 'Port Alma' on June 9th. I've given her your phone no, Ned.|
Woodlands Park Hotel
Congratulations to every Mother, Father, Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles - gosh was I thrilled to get your cable yesterday Ces - a darling one thanks a million - I received it just after breakfast on May 26th & Oh the joy of knowing you had produced a SON - Alma, hefty pats on the back - it was excellent work - I hope you didn't mind too much & tis over now lassie - I'm now anxious to hear from you - all the gruesome details, so to speak - anyway I simply had to write at once to tell you how your fine effort was appreciated - I can't send any cash, I'm miles from a PO but I shall bring the nephew something snappy when I return - I shall have to get into his good graces somehow. You will all have laps ahead start on me but from the minute he can take in anything, proceed to make a Don Bradman out of him - I believe in beginning good habits very early in life, too, teach him to realise the world is his for the asking - I'm afraid I'm not a good mother - I should never teach my children any sense of duty I'm afraid - I'm much too adventurous - the world, to me, is never a more glamorous spot than when I'm doing things I have no business to be doing & I like the uncertainty of not knowing of what's around the corner, but of course this is not good discipline for good citizenship - but all the same it's a grand design for living - I guess Gran & Papa & Gran Graham will be thrilled to bits - Do please put Graham somewhere in his name for Montrose is still my ideal man - not withstanding Clarkie's & Don Bradman's charm, in this year of grace -
I'm still nuts about cricket & glad our lads are doing well, of course, they really haven't met much in the way of opposition yet - but it gives them confidence - I loathed the way the Oval crowd booed Don in the Surrey game, for not making Surrey follow on - really there is no pleasing this English mob & why should be sacrifice our O'Rielly & etc. to make a holiday for an Oval mob? They are playing at Lords again on Saturday but I can't go - I'm lying low now, but I must tell you I dashed up to Surbiton to see Helen Wills-Moody win the Surbiton Championship from Margot Lumb, last Saturday - I saw Nancye Wynne & Thelma Coyne beat Nell Hopman & Dot Stevenson for the Ladies Doubles but until Helen began playing, I've never seen tennis, She is charm personified - of her play, you can just imagine how faultless she is - the English papers annoy me, they are so unfair - these English Sportswriters, never have I seen nor realised how much hot air paper talk really is - they are very generous & noble-minded when the English are on top, but if they are not, then their famous sense of fair play sadly deserts them - oh yes its sad, but very true - I've been reading for weeks 'how lacking in this, that & the other, the famous Helen Wills-Moody of the present day is not the same Helen etc. etc. - how she could be beaten & how she hates running' - Well my pets I went to see for myself - I really wanted to see her, you know people to me are as uninteresting as places I knew I should probably never see the American Comp. Again - hence the rush to Surbiton - Wimbledon clashed with the Lords Test this year, alas, so one never knows - Anyway, from the second Helen began she just made Margot Lumb look like a scrambling, scratching amateur. She is very beautiful, I was not prepared for this - lovely even features, very distinguished looking, with superb poise & her court demeanour is perfect - I sincerely hope this impressed itself on some of the players I'd seen before - she is an example to everyone - her very neat knee-length pleated skirt - it may have been a trousers effect, but it looked like a shortish pleated skirt & short-sleeved cherry sweater & the inevitable eyeshade - she looked very pert & demure in the midst of many scantily clad, very 'short shorted' damsels - it was quite refreshing to see her - I need not tell you the score or how beautifully she played but always with that ease of control & the sure grace that Bradman brings to the world of cricket - Margot Lumb tried all sorts of shots, spins, lobs & silly feeble looking shots & even an underhand service, but the imperturbable American went serenely on - playing beautiful tennis - those long low fleeting forehand drives & etc. - as I say she just made Mrs Lumb look like a scrambling beginner - as for Helen not running - she did a spot when necessary but as far as I could see - she doesn't have to run - she never took off her sweater even during the game - the crowd were rather unnecessarily noisy in their cheering on of their English competitor, but I couldn't help but fall victim to the lovliness & grace of Helen Wills-Moody & I'm afraid from now on, despite our Australian women, I shall be her ardent supporter - after all our lasses are young - but the American is staging a comeback after 2 years away from the game & I do hope she knocks all these reporters theories into a cocked hat - even if I miss Wimbledon's last stages - I have seen tennis played by a person who is a champion in the sublimest sense of the word - I guess, Ned, you will be thrilled with Harry Hattersley's effort at the Amateur Championships - I wish Troon was not so far away - he is our only hope & today he plays Ross Somerville, the Canadian. I hope he gets through to the next round at least he is doing awfully well - I've not seen nor a thing of T.S. McKay in the papers here but Ryan was beaten yesterday -.
Now my pets I must tell you my news - as you know I must see the Lords Test & doing a spot of tripping this summer - so I had to get busy & do my stuff - I told the Aldersons this morn I wanted to take a holiday, so after a chat to the old boy he is going to get a maid for his wife - she is better now, able to get around & really doesn't need a Trained Nurse, so they are dispensing with my services - I hope to be here until about June 22nd but of course if they get someone suitable I will have to depart 'ere then, but here's hoping - anyway my pets - don't worry I can always get a job, I'll never again get anything as good as this, but one can't have one's pleasures both ways & as I'm over here to see all I can I must do some trips while the summer lasts - one is so limited as regards time in this climate - sp, if all goes well, I plan to leave here & go up to the girls at the flat while the Test is on - it is quite near Lords Cricket Ground & I can walk there easily - I've got my name down for application for a ticket, but don't know yet if I can get a seat in the Australian Section - I don't mind parting with the £2.2.0 - but if I don't get one I shall arise at the crack of dawn & get in wherever I can - I don't mind sitting on the ground - in fact it would be rather nice sitting just inside the friendly single rope fence, separating me only one step from the field - so I'll be at Lords whatever else happens, I hope - then - listen to this pets - I'm blowing most of my hard-earned cash on a grand tour of Central Europe - yes Nellie & I have booked up for July 9th a motor coach tour to the most intriguing spots in Europe - to my idea & others it would seem - you see dears we seem to have chosen the most hostile centre of the globe at the minute but don't be alarmed I won't do anything rash - we can always cancel at the last second, but I feel it will be alright, you see I want to go to Prague as well as Vienna & Budapest & as you know things aren't so good there, but I'm not going to let a couple of mad-headed fire-eating Dictators put me off my course - I don't want any spot like I want to see Prague, Vienna & Budapest & even if I have to do the Nazi salute from morn till night, I shall do it with gusto - for what it is worth - & I'm sure these tourist agencies wouldn't make arrangements, if things were too bad. Anyway Hitler is not so sever on Australians as he is with the English & its their own fault more often than not - all the locals here are lifting their hands in horror at us going to these spots & yapping 'I wouldn't give Hitler the satisfaction of spending my money in his Austria & etc.' - however I'm not so intolerant as the English folk & if they were more tolerant they would get on more amiably with these foreign folk - they are queer people, these English folk many of them - anyway my pets, we go to Cologne & from there thro' southern Germany & Moravia to Prague - from there to Budapest & then Vienna & back to Cologne thro' a bit of Switzerland - I shall send you the itinerary later - & we've decided, at extra cost to spend a few days in Paris on our way home - so we'll leave the rest of the party at Cologne & catch the Brussels express to Paris - doesn't that give you a great thrill? Our ticket coming back lasts for 30 days, so we cross the Channel back with it - I don't think Paris will cost as much extra under those conditions - I'm anxious to see Paris & the Franc favour us in the exchange business - I believe it doesn't help matters much, the prices always rise accordingly - but it feels nice to get 176 French francs for an English pound. Anyway my pets I shall know definitely about the Paris bit later - I may not have enough cash to do it just yet. The man in the travel agency is working out how much for us - but in any case I'm going to my first big want - Vienna & Budapest, so I'm more than grateful to the heavens. I shall come home stony broke, but it is well worth it & I shall start work as soon as I get a job on my return. Nellie is going home in Sept or so - but I've not saved enough money yet, to think of returning my pets & I can survive another winter here - I only hope I get a nice cosy spot to hibernate like last winter - I was hoping the Aldersons would tell me to come back, but no such luck - however one never knows what is around the corner & as you know I rather like the excitement of uncertainty. All the girls at the flat are gadding - Arnold is flying to Paris - this leaves me cold, actually - McArthur has gone to Switzerland for 2 weeks, Brabner is touring Devon & Cornwall & another lass, Neisham (who went to Lugarno with Nellie) is in Sweden, it all sounds very prosperous, but it is really reaction after a long dreary & dull winter - they will all come back broke to the wide - but they have done something & been places. I don't know if I shall join a home in town and take up my abode at the flat or come back to Mrs French at Esher. I'm really waiting until Ween & Phyl arrive about 11th June, Thanks a million, Ned for seeing them off - you're a pal & I can just imagine how badly you wanted to jump the ship - but keep on hoping - like I did. Did you ever have any news from the 'Examiner' yet? I told them to send my cheque to you, because you were in charge of my business affairs!!! - does that sound as if I were in big - or does it? Don't forget to go to see the Bridles or ring them occasionally, they will always be very glad to see you.
Nellie is much better again - she is getting her teeth at the moment - has to have a plate but she is on day duty at a nursing home in London - a couple of mothers & babies to look after for a bit but she loathes private nursing & I think she will be much happier when she makes up her mind one way or another about going home - she has been very unsettled at times, but very thrilled now about our trip - hope everything works out as we want it - my best love to you my pets. Keep on writing to this address, they will forward my letters when I go & I'll let you know my new address when I settle down - but just keep on sending them to the Hotel here for the time being - don't forget to let me know all the news as soon as possible - I didn't mail my usual fortnight this time - I really had to write & tell you how I loved _the_ news -
Goodnight my pets & bless you all