Letter from Frances Hodgkins to Rachel Hodgkins

25 Oct 1908
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25 Oct 1908
Beer Devon Oct: 25th
My darling Mother
I am off to London on Tuesday & this will be my last letter from Beer. There is no news dear – chief events of the week – rain – in consequence I have had a baddish time getting work finished. It has been foggy & wet & unutterably gloomy & I have never been so perplexed in my life to know what to do for the best. Whether to go off to London or wait for the sun to shine & finish the pictures. There are symptoms of it clearing so all may yet be well. Beer is a damp little spot, as cold & wet as a well, when it rains, but if the sun shines it is hard to best. Gertrude did not come after all – she was kept in town till too late to make it worth her while coming so far for so short a time. I find there are cheap excursion tickets to the F.B. Exhibition & I shall be pleased if I can get to London for 5/- . The Beer villagers trouped up one day in a body, travelled at night, landed in London at 5 in the morning, 6 hrs at the White City, going hard, then back here in a an awful state of muddleheaded fatigue & too tired to remember what they had seen. Still it is the event of their lives & they will talk of it to the end of their days. I asked one old woman what she thought of the pictures. Didn’t hear tell of any pictures – then she remembered hearing the guide say there was a picture gallery but it wasn’t worth spending any time on. Dear old soul. It takes all sorts to make a world.
I hope I shall do good business in London. I wish it was over. I hate London & Nov: will be an odious month – fogs & bitterly cold. Issy Rattray comes up from the Country to spend the day with me. It will be nice to speak with an old friend once more. She is longing to be back at Craighall – no wonder. I should hate to frivol round from one house to another as she & Fanny are doing – packing & unpacking. They must have stopped in nearly every house in the United Kingdom. Katie Mills has asked me to spend a week with her at a flat in Chelsea which she is looking after for a friend & the rest of my stay I divide between the Nickalls & Miss Winthrop. I am sure you will enjoy enclosed letter from my old bête noir Rosa Dixon – pass it on to Sis. I am sorry for the twins & her hubby. Isn’t she a monumental idiot? Taylor’s letter now – there is some sense in that. What spirit & judgement! Honestly he is quite one of the nicest men I know – one of Nature’s gentlemen. Will write from London – time is pressing now & there is much to be done. I hope a letter from you is close at hand. I do get sick for a sight of you & I think of you night & day. Keep well & tell me if you are ailing & want me. I am working now & fighting a big fight but I will come the minute you need me. Love to you all your dear self & Bert. Lovingly Frances
2 pages
Sender's address
Beer, Devon
Institutional No.
Credit Line
Letters from Frances Hodgkins to Rachel Hodgkins. Field, Isabel Jane, 1867-1950 : Correspondence of Frances Hodgkins and family / collected by Isabel Field. Ref: MS-Papers-0085-22. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.