Part of a letter to David Donaldson from his mother



Part of a letter to David Donaldson from his mother


Letter to David Donaldson from his mother who is in Lisbon with his father who is there on business. She sympathises with David who has measles. She is rather bored having to follow his father around. and writes of playing golf and fathers business activities. She continues with descriptions of other guests in the hotel. Additional information about this item was kindly provided by the donor.





Three page handwritten letter


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Hotel Miramer
Monte Estoril
Dearest David
I had a letter from Elizabeth this morning which I was overjoyed to get as it was the first news we had has of anyone for a fortnight, we don't lead exactly what you would call a very exciting life here - but I was very sorry to hear that you had got the measles, also that Alastair-Pharoah was no more having been run over by a motor, I was very sorry to hear both these sad items of news being very attached to A.P & dreadfully sorry to hear that he had come to such a sad end.
Elizabeth says you have got the measles in a mild form & that Eric has been in communication with your doctor, and that she had had a note from Thrmo [?] to say that you had felt rather wretched on Tuesday as the rash was out, I hope by the time you get this you will will [sic] be feeling much better, & that I shall not come home & find you a nervous wreck, I cannot bear to think that the only one of my .children who so far has had the measles should have it whilst I am in foreign lands, so go on having it slightly – once its over it will be a very good thing to have had it, & a very good time to have had it, being summer time & very tactful of you to have got it over before the holidays -
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but I do wish I could come over and see you – Daddy and I are leading a very monotonous and absolutely clockwork life, nobody seems very anxious to have much to say to us, so we amuse ourselves the best we can, Bathe in the morning – sleep in the afternoon, wander round the golfcourse in the [deleted] afternoon [/deleted] [inserted] evening [/inserted] , [inserted] me [/inserted] following Daddy who hits golf balls in every direction, curses and swears because they are not perfect, & a small Poruguese[sic] caddie about the size of Norman (& looking rather like Norman as to size and figure, especially as his clothes are much the same colour & style as Ns old grey pyjamas) manages to find all the balls in the most amazing way – then we come home eat our dinner and go to bed & so we go on day after day, Daddy goes in to Lisbon every morning to see if there is anything doing, we are out here trying to get an order for two sloops & I gather Daddy will be terribly surprised if he gets it, but he dare not go as there is just a chance that he might, a very very remote one, so here we sit & as I said before nobody wants us – there is one other English couple in the Hotel, a baronet and his wife, very affectionate and rather haughty, she wears an eyeglass & smokes cigars, they represent he aristocracy, we are in the middle class, & the next middle class down is represented by a Scotch couple from Glasgow, who are very Scotch and very talkative, he is [sic] great ideas as to how wives should behave to their husbands they do not coincide with mine at all; we see almost too
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much of them, then there's an Austrian, 2 Danes, 6 Portuguese & one or two other oddments I don't quite know what they are, but as you can see conversation is rather restricted, unfortunately I made friends with the Portuguese last night, & I dare not go out & sit on the Terrace today because I shall have to go on trying to make conversation with them, & its a terrible effort.
The sea is lovely here I generally have a sun bath before & after my bathe, but my skin has got so tickly in spite of masses of olive oil rubbed in until I feel like a sardine, that I contented myself with only bathing this morning, you can spend as much of the day as you like in a bathing dress of the briefest description, the Scotchman here was telling me that you can never be quite sure [inserted] in foreign parts [/inserted] what does constitute indecent behaviour, that a friend of his somewhere in Italy went down to the beach in shorts and he was had up by a policeman for not being properly dressed & he had to stand under the eye of the policeman whilst his friend went up to his hotel & fetched his trousers & then he had to change then and there under the eye of the policeman, the Scotchman swears that here were people sunbathing [inserted] in scanty bathing dress [/inserted] all round him which I find hard to believe – but its a pity you can't come here & sun bathe, you'd be a lovely colour.
I gather from Elizabeth that Sol is doing his best to get on with Julian, so far neither has eaten the other & so I hope all is well – is there any chance of your being sent home when you are out of quarantine for measles? We don't know when we shall be home, at present Daddy seems to think we might get away about July 18th which would get us home about July 22, but



F Donaldson, “Part of a letter to David Donaldson from his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 15, 2024,

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