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Arthur Llewelyn Davies to Margaret Llewelyn Davies


Letter from Arthur to his sister Margaret, 9 September 1906.

[No original available]


Fortingall Hotel,
Glen Lyon, Perthshire.
Sept. 9 1906.

Dearest Margaret,
I am very glad both that the bazaar is over and that it was so very successful. I don’t know which will be the greater relief.
We are all together prosperous so far. We all travelled luxuriously in sleeping births, and though Sylvia and Michael were a little upset for the time they are perfectly recovered today. We came in the early morning up the beautiful West Highland Railway from Glasgow, along the shores of lochs and past Highland mountains, and turned out at Crianlarich in wild moor and mountain scenery. There we breakfasted at a funny little whitewashed Highland hotel and the rest of the party went on by train and steamer while George and I rode our bicycles down a long and splendid valley and along the shore of Loch Tay. The day began stormy and wet, but while the wind continued (right behind our backs) the weather gradually improved and showed us lakes and mountains at their very best. Today it is beautifully fine and clear, though blowy and rather cold.
We are most fortunate in our quarters – a very comfortable inn, not too grand and with friendly people, (Jack is already on most intimate terms with the waiter), and a pretty village surrounded with fine scenery. Glen Lyon is one of the most beautiful glens in Scotland, and we are at the foot of the glen in an open valley with high mountains close at hand. The boys all fished yesterday afternoon in a burn, and caught a number of small trout to their huge delight. We all enjoy ourselves immensely, and have various schemes of walks and drives and cycle rides to fill up the week. We will be home either Saturday night or Sunday early morning, and the boys return to Dr. Fry on Monday afternoon.
While passing through London I visited Roughton who was perfectly satisfied on all essential points. I am very well.
To find us on the map, look for the centre of Scotland between N. and S., and E. and W.
Yours affectly,

Peter's comments:

The fishing was, of course, with worms for bait – on triple “Stuart” hooks – and I think by the end of the week we just knew the difference between a trout and a par: 1 oz. being about the limit for “keepable”. Photographs of these great exploits exist, showing us, I regret to say, all wearing Scotch “bonnets”.
I have a distinct recollection of being asked by Arthur to abandon the sport one morning or afternoon and go for a walk with him instead, and of dimly apprehending the pleasure my consenting to do so gave him. And I also remember an early morning bathe with Arthur and George and Jack in a pool in the burn: the last of the many ice-cold bathes he had loved all his life. I hated it like hell myself, but I’m glad to have it to look back on.

While passing through London on the way north we went to Gamages with JMB to get fishing rods and tackle – a huge thrill: I suppose, with perhaps unreasonable distaste, that this was while Arthur was visiting Roughton with Sylvia, and receiving his deceptively satisfactory report – not that I believe Arthur was much deceived himself.
I don’t know where Nico was during this week. Morecambe with Mary [Hodgson]?


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