»  Letter: Wednesday, March 16, 1977

    E.A. Derbyshire to John Derbyshire

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62, Friars Avenue
(J.R. Derbyshire)

John Derbyshire
14, Legion Drive
New York 10595

March 16th

My darling son,

Thank you for birthday card, yes, I did have one from Louise, I think its a very nice thought & have written to her & really look forward to having her come with you. We are quite thrilled at the prospect & I am planning to paint the kitchen & have already started putting the garden in order, though it is very wet & cold most days yet. Don't take too much notice of Dad's views he's an old softie underneath, though he'd rather die than admit it, & still thinks there's no one good enough for you.!! As long as you are well & happy, that's all I care about. You are your own man. I understand about the bills love but what did you eat & drink for God's sake.!! I've just had a gas bill but less than I expected. Prices continue to rise, we can no longer buy coffee which is around £1.50 for 4 ozs. Tea, too is getting terribly expensive. I can live without bread, sugar & potatoes  We have one main meal a day, but forgotten what a joint looks like.!! We have enough & a great deal better off than many. We shall certainly kill the "fatted calf" when you come & will have a family party & we must show Louise a bit of the country, we must take her to the Cotswolds. I'm longing to know when & how long you are coming for.

I hope to have a few days with Mary & Fred at Snettisham early May, they have a lovely mobile home there. The Spring flowers are out in the garden, you know how much I love them, though I find it very hard work now to keep the garden in order. Last years drought killed a lot of my plants off. It is mid-day & Dad & I having a cuppa, roll & cheese, we have our main meal about 4-5 pm. You shall have the best steak & kidney pie ever, even if its mid summer.

You don't say what you are doing about your living accommodation when Jay goes. What about your lovely shelves, shall you take them with you? I'm glad you get on well with Jonathan, does he see his father? I'm sorry for today's children John, everybody expects so much of them, but do so little  Their childhood seems so short & the world such a greedy, violent state. I know you will help him all you can. I'm glad Tess is an avid reader, as both you & Judy were & still are, Dad & I too. There's so much to know. I read a lot of travel books, explorers, history, other countries etc., its the only thing I'd like money for — to travel, but a pipe dream now. Can't believe I've reached the great age of 65!! The body feels it but not in my heart & mind. I often look back on our lovely time together, this time last year I was busy preparing for it. The baby is lovely, I'm going over today while Judy goes to her class. She's doing an Open University course, goes back to school next week & Phil takes over. I hope it works out. Tess is lovely & adores the baby. Be happy, my love. Write soon. Jean sends her love, so do the Aldridges, he's our next mayor.!! Love you

        Love to Jay, Mary, Tom, etc.,

                X X X   Mother.