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© Rob McGibbon, 2013

4th April

The date circled and starred by Olive not long after she started at L’Institut de Notre Dame des Champs. It was the day she longed for throughout her stay in Paris, when Peggs would arrive to take her home for Easter.


16th January…letter from Peggs, hurrah!!!! feel quite gay for a minute, dinner, read for an hour then bed, hurrah! another day gone, only 79 more!!!!

24th January…wake up quite early, rotten sore throat + had nightmare, funny, always dream of black cats when I have nightmare, sign of enemies, too, keep your eyes open, Ol, you might be murdered in your sleep!!! 10 weeks to-day my Peggs arrives (D.V)* Oh! the joy, I think I shall go mad…Had a lovely letter from Peggs yesterday, have been reading it all day, its such a cheering one. One from Molly also made me laugh to myself! usual day. bed.

31st January…another week gone! hurrah! only 9 more, thats not so bad, 2 letters from Peggs Oh! the joy, but so sorry she’s not very well, how I wish I were at home + not stuck miles away from helping anyone!! good news of the holiday, can go with Lily! Oh! I ought to be happy with everything so nice! + so I am really! except that I would give anything to have Dad + Peggs…anyhow, Easter wont be long now, its the last day of January, I could shout, I’m so pleased!!…62 more days!!!!!

6th February…Am doing some sort of leather work in the drawing class, it is quite pretty! shall do some more when I get home (Oh!¬† joyful word!)

7th February…had awful nightmare, but do not mind because it is Saturday which means the end of another week! 8 weeks to-day we go home


*The abbreviation for the Latin phrase Deo volente: God willing.


To the memory of

Olive Higgins and Albert Ross

With Love

Rob McGibbon

3rd March 2014

An Anagram




RM writes: I have written or typed Olive’s name probably thousands of times since I first began researching her life in 2001. In all that time, I have never worked out an anagram of her name. It never occurred to me. Then, on 19th December 2013, I was urgently writing a pitch to a newspaper for me to write an article about this story. I was deeply unsure whether I should, but I finally decided to go for it and began writing a synopsis. Moments after beginning, I looked at some notes, then back at the screen and Olive’s name had changed to “Love”. I am pretty certain I did not cause that typo. I’m shamefully rubbish at typing, and don’t touch-type. I have to look at the keyboard. Yet, until that time, I had never made that typo of her name. This has always been a story about Love, with a capital, so it seemed a most poignant reminder. Oh, and the newspaper rejected my pitch! [4/3/14]

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling

Little Gidding, T.S.Eliot