Today Rudland and some of the school-boys brought the “Naughty Lass” up to the back garden, opposite the kitchen window. Papa proposes getting her painted and ready for sea. We want to try the fishing and in any case it will be nice to be able to get afloat now and again. In the evenings I am too tired to go walking and this would be better. So you will get a chance of developing your muscle when you come home. Also Maud – tell her… Stornoway, 16th May. 1918

Extract from letter from Mrs Gibson to Jean Gibson 16th May 1918

In her letter to Jean this week, Mrs Gibson talks of the “Naughty Lass”, a boat that the Gibson’s are aiming to re-paint and take out fishing, and another teacher has left the Nicolson this week too, amidst a flurry of confusion it would seem! The next in our series of letters from the W.J. Gibson collection held by Museum nan Eilean. Please get in touch if you have any comments: archives@cne-siar.gov.uk

Dear Jean,

Your letter came on Wednesday and we were interested to hear of your doings. Hope you will get a frock to your liking even if it seems dear; everything is dear now-a-days and growing dearer. It was a good idea to take Mrs. Milne’s advice.

We were very glad indeed to hear that the dear Anderson baby was recovering. I thought the drop in the temperature probably meant that the crisis was past after which it would be just the question whether he had strength enough to rally. I hope he is gaining a little now every day.

Today Rudland and some of the school-boys brought the “Naughty Lass” up to the back garden, opposite the kitchen window. Papa proposes getting her painted and ready for sea. We want to try the fishing and in any case it will be nice to be able to get afloat now and again. In the evenings I am too tired to go walking and this would be better. So you will get a chance of developing your muscle when you come home. Also Maud – tell her.

Did I tell you that Annie Macleod spent an afternoon with me last week and I gave her tea in the kitchen? I lent her Stevenson’s letters in the hope that she might find them interesting.  Dina came over last night for the other vol. and reported Annie very keen. I was glad as they are really very good and reveal a most delightful and a very brave man. You must read them sometime.

Mr. Tait has gone. He got quite a number of presents from the classes. The evening he was going he came in after nine to say goodbye and how sorry he was to go and so on. I had not much patience. The funny sequal [sic] however came later. He had meant to call at Mrs. Payne’s to hand in the key and pay the rent but he was so rushed at the end that he had no time. However Roddie Smith was down at the steamer to intercept him and demand the money. Think of it! Sy. is busy commenting on Tait in far other than complimentary terms, and saying, to Mr. C. J. Maciver’s great annoyance “See what the teachers are like!” Poor Tait is very much afraid he may be called up again.

Mrs. Menzies has a cow now and I get a pint of milk from her daily which is a very great help to the cuisine. Jack Ross brings it for me when he goes for their own. “Lil Lizzie” still goes to Goathill, getting back very near the stroke of nine.

Listen! Annie Rudland has now 27/6 a week, a uniform and a pair of boots as she has been put on the strength – W.R.E.N.s. I suppose. Mary Morison is back in Sy. – had to. Love from us all including the li’l Small on the board.

Your loving Ma.

Ref: 1992.50.64ii/L54

Transcribed by M. Smith, Museum Visitor Assistant

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