The summer as noted was idyllic, though in fact lots of work was done. There was much business to do for home, including helping my sister who had got a Scholarship to Somerville for her Master’s degree. It was also nice to help Hope Todd, who was an old friend of the family, and had stayed at home for a few years when he started work in Colombo, before he married. His wife was my mother’s chief lieutenant in the Girl Guides, so that they have continued close over the years and in fact are amongst the few who still join me at home for Christmas lunch when we had to scale down a couple of years after my father died.
Since my letters do not cover this, I should note that, after a wonderful fortnight at Mallard Lodge on my own, I visited Tilak Gooneratne in Brussels before the rest of my trip. Pam had stayed on in London, but Tilak too was hospitable, and I am glad I continued to see him when he came back to settle down in London after the next government got rid of our best diplomats.
20 High Street
12th June 1976
Happy anniversary – and congratulations on having at least one exceptional child in the family. At least, I suppose Anila wouldn’t have sent a telegram unless she thought it a good thing to be branded a 1st Class train. Anyway, it makes me feel very proud, so give her my congrats.
I did succeed in handing my ‘George Eliot on Religion’ essay in on time, despite having had to come to town every day after getting back from London. I managed to spend Thursday to Saturday with Hope (stayed the nights at Jean’s), and accompanied him on a bit of business, as well as taking him to the British Museum, the National Gallery and the Opera. There wouldn’t really have been much point, even if I could have, in staying all week since he was quite busy during the day, but I’m sorry I wasn’t around to take him to the theatre a bit more. Yasmin did a great job, including the production of a super dinner on his birthday.