It seems like ages since I heard from you - is it really only a week! I'm in New York now - so exciting! Aunt Claudia is having such fun - she wants me to visit all her friends and be cooed over, but I'm too old for all that now! I just want to explore and have fun before my first show here tomorrow. I know, you'd say I should be resting and practicing, especially not having skated for days! But there are so many things to do and see here. I'll write you all about it later, when I've had time to see everything. I should have loads of time on the train!
You must write and tell me how everyone is doing! You have all the addresses, so no excuse. Especially you must write and tell me how your first open competition goes - I'm sure you will do wonderfully, although how you can stand all those figures! But I also want to know how Alec's garden is doing - remember him growing strawberries in my bit of garden, and Aunt Claudia's face when she found out! Also, you must tell me when Toby gets his results - not that there is much doubt that he'll get the grades he needs for university. And anything else that happens! I can't believe that I'm going to be away all summer! You must tell me everything that happens! And I'll write and tell you everything - and send postcards - did you get the one I sent from Southampton? Yes - I know, not exotic compared to all the places I will see, but still!
Anyway Aunt Claudia is calling for me - I have to go and have tea with her friends. Do write soon! I was hoping that there would be a letter here, but I suppose you would have had to send it almost as soon as we left.
Thank you for your letter and the postcard (from Southampton, I’m sure you’ve sent others by now). There isn’t really much news yet, after all it hasn’t been that long. Did you get time to see the sights in New York? I'm sure Miss Goldthorpe has plenty of suggestions, and will take you around, when she could get you away from your aunt. Although I hope you didn't behave too badly at the parties she took you to - remember how angry she was that time you were so rude to one of her bridge friends. Just remember she won't believe that you are nearly grown up unless you behave like it. (I know you are probably rolling your eyes at me now - but I have to make sure that you are sensible because you don't want to spoil things for yourself - after all she seems to be happy with your success now, and it is so good of her to support me as well.
Anyway, to the news, what there is of it - everyone is well, although Edward is bored and misses you, he says that it is dull without you here - although he is helping in Alec's garden a bit, actually we all are. The vegetables are growing well, and so many strawberries - not quite more than the shop can sell but close! It is doing so much better now - but you knew that. Toby says that his exams were fine and doesn't seem worried, but the rest of us are, well a little - I mean not that any of us expect him to fail or anything. Alec is really busy, and I only really see him much when I go to help in the garden - he is usually working until dark, then travelling back here. He says it will get better, after all it was in a state when he took it over, and so he is having to put in all the plants fresh. The competition went all right, I didn’t get a medal but the judges said some nice things to me, especially about the figures.
Enjoy yourself! I hope I've sent this letter to the right address, Toby helped me to make sure it should get there before you - but you never know with the post.
P.S. Uncle William has just died - we got the news today. My father is really upset about it, but he has to organise the funeral and everything. I’ll write more when I know what it will mean. However, that may not be soon, as my parents will be busy with the funeral, and Alec with the garden, so I'm doing a lot of the work for the shop.
Sorry for the long gap between letters. My parents had to organise the funeral and talk to the lawyers about the will, so we’ve all been busy trying to keep everything going. Anyway, everything has been worked out for now. As Alec has nearly finished getting his garden sorted, he is going to finish that over the summer and then sell it as a going concern (as it now just needs maintaining, rather than starting), then he is going to move down to the country to live as there is more space and potential. He is really excited about it and given where it is Toby is going to help when he can get away from University - after all it isn’t that far to go for weekends.
Edward is sulking about it because it means that he’ll be all on his own here whenever I’m away. Although my parents have said that they will consider allowing him to go to theatre school in the autumn, if they can find one that works and is convenient, I think his teachers suggested it to them in the end of term reports; after all he hasn’t been doing particularly well at school.
Hope you are having fun and look forward to hearing from you when you have time to write. You must tell me how the show went?