»  Letter: Wednesday, March 23, 1977

    E.A. Derbyshire to John Derbyshire

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  Transcription of Letter

From
Mrs J.R. Derbyshire
62, Friars Avenue
Delapre
Northampton
England

To
John Derbyshire
126, Stevens Avenue
Valhalla
New York 10595
U.S.A.

23.3.77

My darling Son,

it was a lovely surprise to speak to you, Louise & Jay & really gave me a happy birthday. Is your new place[1] an apartment, bed-sit or what.? Do write & tell me what its like. Are you cooking for yourself. Of course, we are longing to see you & really impatient to know when. I had many cards & letters, including Lou's & Mary & Jay. I shall have to think about a wedding present for them.

The weather here is lousy, rain day after day, bitterly cold winds, its most depressing. We don't go far. Judy fetches me over now & then. Marcus is lovely & Tessa adores him. Judy started back to school last Monday with mixed feelings & Phil has taken over the "role" of "housewife." I must say he is very practical & has fixed the house up lovely. I only hope it works out. I have just put a casserole in the oven, it smells good & will do us twice.

The government[2]  go from one crisis to another & there is talk of a General Election, horrible thought with all its guff and hypocrisy, strikes abound over the most trivial thing & British Leyland a laughing stock. Poor old England, where did we go wrong.? We need warmth & sunshine to brighten our lives. The garden is lovely with daffs, crocus, snowdrops etc  The forsythia a mass of yellow blossom but still too wet & cold to do anything. Dad is well, but deafness getting worse, he says its wax, but Dr says hardening bones & nothing to be done. He has a new deaf aid but it makes little difference, it makes him so irritable, — well, more so!! He's quote convinced he'll die before you come, but really, apart from his deafness, he's fine. I hope to have a few days with Mary & Fred at Snettisham early May, but want to Spring clean & paint the kitchen before you come.

Tell Mary, I'll write to her & Jay soon, my regards to her parents & dear old Mrs Bruno. Be happy my love, & look after yourself. How's the old Chivvy doing? I relive my lovely time with you many times a day, especially our Washington trip. My love to Louise, Mary & Jay, do write soon. I'm going over to Judy's Saturday night, while they have a night out. Tessa is marvellous with the baby & can change & feed him etc., most expertly. I miss my old car for popping about, my feet aren't very happy.

        All for now my darling, loving you

        X X X X X X  Mother

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  Notes

  1. I must have moved to Stevens Avenue some time in March. It was a converted attic apartment in a private house, with a private entrance & its own bathroom. The householders were a youngish couple with no kids, but I can't remember their names.
  2. This was the Labour government of Jim Callaghan, who had taken over the Prime Ministership when Harold Wilson resigned on his 60th birthday in March 1976. Labour had won the election of October 1974, but by now had only a minority in the House of Commons and was struggling.