1935-39 MONICA VAN ZELLER NÉE TROLLOPE

What a lovely surprise! Of course I remember you. I, too, had the greatest respect for Eva, despite her leanings towards the prettiest in her charge. Josephine Tanner was a case in point. She was such a highly principled woman and so dedicated that she kept a tight rein on her inclinations, although at the slightest sign of a cold I remember a lot of chest rubbing was the order of the day! I remember too, Miss Edwards-Rees being so rude to her, ordering her about in front of us – “Fetch my glasses from my study, Miss Manning.” – never a please or thank you. And going into her (Miss E-R’s) study was an ordeal indeed, as it housed that disgusting little border terrier called Tolly, who I’m sure had never had a bath in its life!

Old Polly Payne was a real dear; endlessly good-natured despite the terrible dance we all led her. I always did my prep in Divinity lessons and I can hear her now in a tone of the mildest reproof “and Jacob went up the mountain … Monica.” I once nearly said “Bully for him!” but I don’t think even that would have upset her!

I am now 75 with two sons and eleven grand children, all of whom are a great joy. I still play tennis twice a week, and really love living in Yorkshire although it seems to get more trippery every year. The Worsleys, at Hovingham Hall, are the prime reason for this as Kate Worsley married the Duke of Kent and this was her childhood home. Also it’s a very pretty village with its stone cottages with their pantile roofs, village green and stream, but I go right off it in the summer when it’s full of gawping strangers. Well, I must stop the drivel now. It was very sweet of you to write and I did appreciate it. Take care of yourself and if you’ve a mind, keep in touch. I’ve been a widow for eleven years now. My husband, who I just met when I was 16, contracted Alzheimer’s Disease and for ten years didn’t know anybody or anything. It was terribly distressing for everybody, as you can imagine.

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