Ponsonby 27 Feb 1882
To our great delight the welcome box arrived today, and great was the excitement at the unpacking thereof, which was not effected without some considerable trouble as it was so very securely nailed up. Today was very wet but it sustained no damage on coming up. We all three went down to the Rotomahana to get it, no very pleasant undertaking as it was blowing from the NE with rain and you know what that is here but the weather did not matter much in the anticipation of the arrival.
We are all delighted with the contents, which we have just unpacked. The slippers were really splendid they fitted very well only just a trifle large but that for slippers is hardly a fault as they should be easy to be comfortable which they most certainly are and really handsome. Thank you very much for them. The oil painting was first rate and will find a place in our drawing room. The small water colour one was very specially admired, it is really quite a little gem, and will have a frame. Thank dear Emma from me very much for the photo of the house and also the scent bottle. The latter has not yet been opened but I am sure I shall like it. It is quite a rarity in this house. As Mother and Sue are writing I need not say anything about the other things further than that they all gave universal pleasure and satisfaction. Fred of course was characteristically the least demonstrative of all but he evidently was much pleased. Poor fellow he just now is not at all well, suffering from a very sore tongue and mouth and is altogether out of sorts. He is taking sarsaparilla and will I hope soon be better. I fancy so much continual exposure to the hot sun here has had a bad effect upon him. We are having very different weather here to what you are getting from what Emma says in her letter. Ours has been very hot and sultry. Mother and I went out with Tom M [Tom MacDonald Eliza’s brother]. the other day for a days fishing and very warm we found it, and only caught 11 fish. T has now his holidays – a fortnight, and is full of boating and fishing. I will have told you all about our picnic – another one is talked about to come off tomorrow or Wednesday. Tom has hired a boat for a fortnight and is anxious to make the most of it and is delighted to get some of his friends with him for a cruise.
Thank dear Emma very much for her nice long letter and tell her I hope to reply to it by next mail, but I fancy it is your turn this time. It must be nice to have Katie & Fanny staying with you but I am afraid there is rather a rowdy? time of it between you all.
With very much love
Yr affectionate Father