»  Letter: Wednesday, April 26, 1978

    E.A. Derbyshire to John Derbyshire

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  Transcription of Letter

From
J.R. Derbyshire
62, Friars Avenue
Delapre
Northampton  NNP. P.4.X.
England

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

April 26th

My dear Son,

good to get your letter so soon & snaps, you look great, though I'm sorry you shaved off your "Zapata" moustachsio, I liked it!! I sympathize with your weight problem, me too, I'm trying very hard to diet, but the weather is so foul, I put a lot of my flab down to lack of exercise. It's cold, grey & pouring with rain, we've only had two spring like days since Xmas, I've just finished making a patchwork quilt, which is made up of 4000 (approx) tiny hexagonal patches, every stitch by hand. Ask Kathie what this means!! There is an exhibition on at Guildhall of American Patchwork — early settlers — & I am paying it a visit as soon as the rain stops, I remember seeing some at the "Smithsonian" in Washington. They are considered heirlooms & quite priceless. I had a sweet letter from Mary, which I have just answered, she seems to have had a bad time recently, I do hope she & Jay will be together again soon, it's not good to be parted, so soon too. She tells me how kind & thoughtful you are, but I think you always have been! So there!! I see so many things I ought to do, Spring cleaning, painting, small repairs & gardening, but I seem to have no inclination yet, must be OLD AGE. Ugh.!! Dad is doing the "Pools" hopefully. We only want enough to buy a "little" bungalow, a "little" car & help "our" family. Ah! well, we can dream.

Judy & family send their love. the baby is delightful & very entertaining. I had him last Thursday & he "tiddled" on the kitchen floor. I mopped it up & soon afterwards found him lying flat on his tummy trying to lick it up. Monkey! He's a very happy baby & we love to have him. Auntie Cis was here yesterday & she says she never wants to see Mike again. He owes her a lot of money & has upset her over their extravagant ways. He told her off for interfering & she resents it. I just say "Yes" & "No"  I think it's all so petty, & makes me realize how lucky I am. Darling, I may be away from May 14th to 20th or in between, I want to have a few days with Mary at Snettisham. If Judy can take me I shall go on the Sunday, 14th  if not & I go by bus, it will be from 9th to 16th, that is midweek.

We had our tax forms last week but so far, we haven't come into tax bracket. Jean, who earns £4,340 says she pays over £100 a month tax. Funny story coming up. Casualty[1] Officer called to ward at 3 am. to a Severe Haemorrhage, asks who it is. Funny chap in bed says "Me doctor."  "You look too fit to have had severe haem.," says Doc. "No, I haven't" — chap — it was a ruse to see you."  "You mean you've got me up at 3 am for nothing" — Doc —. "Well," says chap "It's my bowels see."  "Whats the matter with yoru bowels, aren't you regular?"  "Oh! yes, regular as clockwork, every morning on the dot of 8 am."  "What's the problem then" says Doc.  "Well," — chap — "I don't wake up till 9." Laugh!  No2  Old lady being given injection by young student medic who tells her "Only a little prick giving you this"  "I know" says O.L.  "but whats in the syringe"

Till next time, my love. As ever

                Mum.

        Love to Kathie & kids.

                X X X X X X X

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  Notes

  1. "Caualty" = Emergency Room in a British hospital.