Letter from Frances Hodgkins to Isabel Hodgkins

14 May 1892
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14 May 1892
Cranmore Lodge May 14, 1892
My dearest Sissie
Before this reaches you, you will have seen Father, poor old man. He must have had a miserably cold journey up. We seem to have suddenly plunged into the middle of winter, and the cold today & yesterday has been intense. We have not heard from you for a week but I am hoping for a letter tomorrow. The postman now comes at 8 o’clock in the morning and I no longer pass thro’ the distracting emotions of hope, doubt and disappointment and waste half my time in looking out of the kitchen window it doesn’t make life in the kitchen on Monday mornings half so interesting, for a letter or a paper is very welcome while washing up the dishes. Talking of papers don’t forget to send me some Presses. I haven’t seen one for an age. I enclose a postcard that arrived for you. Mrs Davidson told me she explained your absence she (Mrs D.) proposed May I believe as a member, but I haven’t heard whether she was elected or not. Will you join again when you come home? Is it true Miss Jeannie is coming down to Dunedin for 2 months. That looks rather like failure doesn’t it? I am sorry for the poor little lady.
We went to an afternoon tea at Mrs Moore’s on Thursday. Daisy Dymock sent her love & said she was going to write to you. George is away so I suppose she has plenty of spare time on her hands. They have offered to take me to the Neville dance, but I have refused so am beyond persuasion. I went down to see the Scotts today Mrs Scott is very stiff & feels the cold very much. I spent the evening at Joe’s and Clara’s last night. How I do dislike that worthy couple! They asked me to tea so I started at half past five mindful of the last evening you & I spent there but to my horror I found tea half over and Clara as sulky as a bear and very nasty – I had a cold reception in every sense of the word, tomatoes and bread & butter for tea on a winter’s night are not to quote Miss Holes “graceful & comforting”, so you may imagine I had a cheerful evening. There were quite regardless of my presence & spooned in the most disgusting manner. Clara said with a mawkish smile “don’t we look the picture of happiness?” I said “I think you both make a better caricature”. Clara stiffened at once and behaved herself for the rest of the evening! She has a wholesome dread of me, I am glad to say and tried to make me promise before I came away that I will not draw her but I shall.
May came over this afternoon she was going to the Cumines so I arranged to meet her there at six o’clock and we would come thro’ the bush together. When I got there I found she had trotted off with the youngest Cumine youth and left me to go home by myself. Wasn’t that a shabby trick and for an old fossil like that too. I was very angry for she has served us that way so often.
Miss Alice Larnach is to be married on Wednesday to Mr Inders. Her future relatives are not altogether enviable, she has a butcher for a brother-in-law and a baker for another. Rachel Reynolds is to be bridesmaid.
Maggie Gilk has cabled she will not be home for another month! I expect she has another banker in tow! Mrs Bartleman wants you to do some commissions for her in Chch but I will tell you of them in my next letter. Katie Boyse is going to Chch next week to stay with Mrs Stead. I must end this scribble tonight my dearest old girl, I [my] fingers are nearly numb with cold. With best love from Mother & myself.
Ever yours very lovingly Fanny
Have you seen May Burnes? Willie told me last night he thought the McGowan cum Spence affair would shortly be announced.
8 pages
Sender's address
Cranmore Lodge
Institutional No.
Credit Line
Letters from Frances Hodgkins. Field, Isabel Jane, 1867-1950 : Correspondence of Frances Hodgkins and family / collected by Isabel Field. Ref: MS-Papers-0085-01. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.