Dorothea Allison to Milborough Mackay 21 March 
I am dictating a letter to Bob — we often write each other’s letters — so as it is now or never my letter will be spasmodic.
Thank heaven Bob has finished his letter to South Africa & I am free again. He, Bob, is so awfully like mother in some ways. Isn’t it funny — He can’t bear the sheet of his bed to be tucked in well at the foot he says it cramps his toes — and he is a lawyer at arguments & likes crusts & overdone outsides.
I wish you both a very happy Easter. Will you still be in Guernsey I wonder. We have a dear little Guernsey heifer calf. They are pretty creatures, aren’t they?
I have now got your letter about the children & mother. I have been gathering from the letters lately that the children are much too much for mother. I can’t imagine how they got arranged for in that way. Of course there is a side that makes you feel mother might be dreadfully lonely without something to look after. But still — children always made her nervous & undone & really she is rather old to start taking care of them after so long without.
I don’t know what to think about going home in the summer — I shd [should] like to help mother — but I am no good about children. I can’t bear them long in a room with me. Six years & a half alone in a house with a husband out at morn — no servant to speak to, nothing but the dogs & cows & chickens to speak to I really feel I shd [should] be as nervy as mother. Also after waiting so long to go home — it would be nice to have the benefit of ones husband when one is sick. Then there is the fact of leaving him to cook & do for himself in the hardest and busiest season. Remember a wife is almost a household necessity out here & then I help so much in the picking and packing of fruit. However I am thinking about it as I don’t think mother ought to have them for the long holidays — is there a possible solution of the summer holidays — is mother bound to have them — poor dear Em it is awfully worrying for her & now I hear Ursula has measles. Madge writes that she went to see mother & Ursula — & tho she says mother was worried & nervy she doesn’t at all imply that Ursula felt it. I only hope this impression is right. I feel lately the whole world is a great tragedy. There seems so little real happiness. I think the system of education for hundreds of years has been upside down. We ought to be trained & shown how to be happy instead of acquiring a lot of unnecessary & vague knowledge. Living surely ought to be a conscious joy instead of a burden. I believe the Buddists come nearer to it than anybody in spite of Miss Judd. Isn’t there something wrong in a system that makes children perverse & a nuisance instead of kicking up their heels like our calves in the yard & bringing joy to see & so joyful in their existence.
Hard work is not the key of life as those pretend who have not suffered from it. I myself now long never to have to help others or do anything that I needn’t. I think it creates or develops selfishness. Hence labour troubles. Poor Mib what a horrible sermon. I do so want to know what you are writing now. What gave you the idea of Kilpatrick?
Yours with much love
Typescripts, 1913-1922 — Dorothea Scott-Coward Allison Letters