Emily Heath-Rough writes to Sallypoo

To Sallypoo

sometimes alone, sometimes sad, always clever

always funny, fabulously feline

unique and a love

Today I went into the village and purchased a sad old panda with one eye for Chester. I also purchased the latest work from Mr Huxley from the bookshop. The assistant informed me that it was the last copy in stock.

Our clock has sadly stopped at a quarter to ten. I fear that Ralph has overwound the poor thing. He does tend to treat anything mechanical like his car which I am surprised runs at all.

I adored the poem that you sent to me and I have enclosed it in my album of postcards. When Ralph was at the parish meeting on Thursday evening I stole a look at my postcards.

Some are from you with views from the different countries you have visited and the other women you have known. Others were from Ralph’s army pals.

I also have a number of postcards from dear Miss Storrington.

I do miss her so and the stories she used to tell about her adventures at Radcliffe Hall with Harvey and Lester.

We are all very excited about your visit next week. Ralph is clearing the spare room out as I write.

This is where he will sleep during your stay and he is making himself quite at home with newspapers all over the floor and his pipe rack on the table.

I have already booked tea at the cabbage museum and afterwards I thought we might walk along the Teeming Road and visit The Gravediggers Arms for a sherry.

Do wear your red floral dress as I think that you look quite splendid when you alight from the train at the Quakers Railway Station.

The weather I think will be fine

I will bring you bunch of your favourite flowers freshly picked by Ralph and Chester.

I must run now as the village post goes at a quarter to five and it half past four already.

Do travel safely and sit near the buffet.


The Roughest Girl in the School


The dedication to Sallypoo was found by the author in a 1959 edition of Dylan Thomas’s Collected Poems. The rest is his fiction.