»  Letter: Wednesday, May 18, 1977

    E.A. Derbyshire to John Derbyshire

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  Transcription of Letter

From
J.R. Derbyshire
62, Friars Avenue
Delapre
Northampton
U.S.A.

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

May 18th., 1977

My dear son,

at last, you've made an elderly lady and a little girl very happy. If you could only have seen how delighted Tessa was with her letter she rang me and said she had had such a happy week because Uncle John and Daddy had written to her. She is dying for you to come and swim with her. She is very good, and is swimming for the school in a Jubilee gala. No need to tell you how pleased we are to know you are O.K. you are a devil to keep us waiting so long for news I shall have to ask Louise to kick you up the 'Kyber".[1]

Last night I went with my club on an evening outing, it was lovely we went a run all round the country lanes to Bedford and then landed up at The West End Club there ate drank and danced and sang all the Old favourites with a very good group, they were great and a good time was had by all, got home at midnight, Dad was sulky about it as he doesn't really like me going. He'll get over it, I get fed up sometimes and feel I shall run riot! The weather has been a pig, but it's lovely today though somewhat windy, I've done a bit of gardening, I am going to try and grow some tomatoes. Vegetables here are a shocking price, the humble cabbage is too expensive to buy without a mortgage!! new potatoes are as much as 28p a pound. Dad blames it all on the Common Market!! I am getting one or two new things for the house, bed linen mostly as some of my things are wearing out.

Phillip is coming to decorate the kitchen for me next week, I want to get it all nice for when you come, I hope Lou can come with you. Thank you darling for paying Tom for me, I will settle up with you when you come, it has saved me a lot of hassle. I did ask Ginny to let me know if she got her money back from Church's China Stores, but I haven't heard anything from her yet, they promised me they would send it right away, I'm sorry she bothered with them, I had to get really cross with them, and made innumerable phone calls to them, of course they were cross to lose such a large order I suppose. This time last year I was counting the days to seeing you, how time flies, you will soon be 32! I made a mess of that didn't I, quite an old-man. Thank you darling for the snap it is lovely Lou looks smashing, and you look very well. I'm glad your room is satisfactory I still wish you had a place of your own.

I sat outside for a while and the wind blew all the blossem off the cherry tree the garden looks as though there has been a snow storm. Last weekend I stayed overnight at Judy's while they had a night out, the baby was marvelous went to bed at six and slept till after six next morning, he is a good little soul. I expect Tess will come this weekend and stay the night, I hope you won't think I'm crazy John, but I have bought Tess and I a dolls house to keep here so that I can have fun furnishing it a bit at a time I've always wanted a house of my own and I do love miniture things. Must be in my dotage, well, men play with trains so why shouldn't I play with a dolls house? The telly seems to be conking out I'm hoping Dad will consent to renting a colour one, I could manage a rental but not to buy a new one. The license for a colour is £18 and "they" want to put it up to £25, isn't that diabolical? Judy rents hers and I think she pays about £60 a year. Anyway we'll have to see.

I think I told you dear that I have an invitation to the Council Chamber on the 26th to see Mark Aldridge's inauguration to Mayor, that is in the morning and then Dad and I to the official reception at night, of course, Dad won't go, you know his views on pomp and ceremony. but I'm going. They always ask after you, I shall also see Mrs Griffiths there and she wants you to go and see her when you come. Dad has just lit a bonfire in the garden and I am going to have a bath and go to bed with a book not very exciting love but the best I can do now!! Take good care my darling, come soon, I shall have to give you a birthday pressy when you come. Always in my heart love, love you dearly though I do get mad when you don't write for weeks on end. Give my love to Mary and Jay, won't be long now. Where is Jay living meantime? I think of you all and relive our times together last year. Love to Tom and Ginny when you see them and anyone else interested, not forgetting Ma[r]y's folks and dear old Mrs Bruno. Lots of love my darling, as always

        X X X X  Mother & Dad

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  Notes

  1. Cockney rhyming slang: "Khyber pass."