The continuation of the letter from Windsor Castle records my attempt to persuade my mother to allow my cousin to come over to help my brother and his wife look after their newborn son. This was successful, though my mother proved wiser than us for she had I think understood that they would not be pleasant to the girl.

And Windsor Castle was of course great fun, as London was afterwards.

The pictures are of the Ministry of Defence in London and its roof where the Resident Clerks would have parties, and then of a dog monument in Windsor Park. This does not seem at all indecent but doubtless others were.

February 1979 (cont)

Talking of which, since Sanjiva and Chitra are determined to keep the baby on, you might reconsider the despatch of Theja – that is, if she’s willing. My own fear was simply that it might seem a making use of her. Correspondingly, unless on a salaried basis, which of course is out of the question, anyone except an extremely close relation would be disastrous, since tensions of responsibility and interference are bound to spring up – one can note them, if only incipiently due to the extremely generous natures of all involved, with regard to Kate & the nanny here. Theja is of the right age to minimize all that, as well as subject enough, to put it crudely, to be withdrawn if difficulty arises. You must remember that Sanjiva and Chitra are much more sensitive and self–conscious about identity then you might have been. I think you’re wrong about her not being responsible enough, and in any case the restrictions she would be under physically would take her over the initial period – at least 6 months!

David is extremely busy with a course for middle-aged clergy, designed to refresh and enlighten them by spiritual discussions and practical projects such as inspection of the BBC, Parliament, the Daily Mirror, etc. It’s all very Trollope and Barchester in the Close here, with vague Minor Canons and choir boys who lock each other up so that the Dean gets flummoxed in front of Margaret, and Lay Clerks who want to start families but don’t have enough – to say nothing of the further world of the castle, with guardsmen arrested for pilfering, and the Privy Purse engaged in mortal combat with the Department of the Environment. We walked through the Home Park the other day, and saw Queen Victoria’s monuments to her dogs, which are indecent, and the park in confusion where Anne has to practice riding – all very eccentric, with planes from Heathrow thundering over endlessly.

I depart tomorrow for London – to stay at the Ministry of Defence. I suspect, if I get my Doctorate, that Ceylon could have no more effective High Commissioner here in ten years time. Then, after opera, theatre, bridge and the Temple, this last to keep Thatha happy in that, though I don’t like the law, I do like the dinners, especially as a guest, I get back to Oxford at the end of the month, to prepare for Cornwall. I should have an idea by then when my viva would be. I have just finished an American book on Trollope which is much inferior to my own – so keep hoping.