»  Letter: Thursday, February 2, 1978

    J.R. Derbyshire to John Derbyshire

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J R Derbyshire
62 Friars Avenue

John Derbyshire
126 Stevens Avenue
New York 10595

62 Friars Av     Thursday  2-2-78

Dear John,

I posted a letter to you on Monday & received yours yesterday & I thought I would answer it now as if I dont, I keep putting off writing & the days go by. I do understand about letter writing  I was the same at your age, but then it used to take six-seven weeks for them to arrive

Well your Nephew had his first birthday yesterday  I did'nt go as the weather was, & has been for 2 weeks, gales, Snow, Rain & I like the fireside in this weather as I get older.

You would like my advice from my point of view would you & what it was like when I was your age, nearly 47 years ago  well I can tell you it was wonderful up to 1930 when Noel was born  I live a full life at games & only lived one day at a time. life was slower very much come a day, go a day, & I was single. With the girls I was always careful no to get them pregnant & a sheaf was the only protection there was. the only time I did'nt use one, Noel was the out come & gone was my happy days. You see I was tied & I never want that to happen to you because its soul destroying. like the comedian said (there are two stages in a womans life that man know nothing about, that is before & after he marries her), & always remember she marries you, not you marry her. She will tell you any lies, promise you the moon, so if you are soft hearted that's your lot. now the position you are in with Jays sister. get out a quick as you can. I told you never to shit on your own doorstep & you do just that. I see a lot of unpleasantness in doing so with Jay & his wife, but there is no other way because you will get worse than a living death if you dont. I have told you always marry where there is plenty of money then you can drop one another without worry. You say you get on well with your girl friend  no wonder  I bet she is laughing her head off behind your back. Your life will be dull till the better weather comes along  it would be worse if you were wed: you can please your self now.

In your job they dont pay you for what you do but to see its done & your ability to know its done right & to working over people. if they are doing thier job right leave them alone, if they are not dont hesitate to let them know & make them do it. Any boss who is liked by the workers under him is a failure. You dont have to be married to have companionship  Women dont want you to have any interest outside of thier selves

The most important thing is, You, me, Aunty Cissy, Mike should never have married, we are what are termed loners  That we can be quite happy with our own company & to marry if you are a loner is hopeless & not fair to the other party. I tried to tell your Mum: when I met her first but I think she was afraid of being left on the shelf, as it was war time & I must have looked attractive compared to what was left in civies but that is why I advise you not to marry without the Proviso that she has enough money or a good job so you can part when the time comes, without heart break or hardship to anyone & that time will come for sure, & as for old age dont worry  if you live to be 100 you will feel like I do now  I am quite happy on my own. Ordinary people cant marry & be compatable its not human & in our own case its impossible.

So dont worry enjoy every day & only work at something you enjoy doing & old age will look after its self & at 79 I have sampled all & looking back would only have altered one thing  marriage & spoiling a good girls life as that is what I did to your Mother  She deserved better than me & the trouble I couldnt alter my ways as I was a loner. I love you & Judith & looked after you & enjoyed your company but its your Mother who you owe the bigest debt, you were her only cause for living. I adore all my Grandchildren & would lay my life down for any of you, because you are all I never was. (Human): I often & still do, as I look back to war (1914) when we went over the top & Pals were killed only six inches away from you (why?) I used, & still do believe they had more to offer the world than I did & it should have been me in thier place.

I will have a good talk with you when we meet as I am not much good at expressing myself on paper. Remember everyone has at least 1 good book in him or her  I could write wonderful books if I could only express myself  I could talk a book in a dictiphone & may try on day  as you have a good knowledge of science fiction than me try a book on that subject  Make a person with unnatural power & let your imagination rip but be clever enough not to write something which can be questioned. I only wish I could type I would have a go  As for technological marvels, after all its only the old way speeded up, when a article is hand made every part is indivual & correct  when mechanically made the tool wear is not altered till the parts made are well over size hence your perfection is gone result shoddy article. George Orwell was right. When I was a boy it was the happiest years of my life. everything seemed secure & static  horse & cart  no motors  we jogged along quite happy  of course I was lucky as my Dad always had a good paying job & we wanted for nothing & Family life was wonderful  Britain ruled the world. how I wish I could capture them again. War is the cause of all advancement — human & material. The doctors have plenty of bodies to experiment on & there were ideas, in war, that had to be tried out, money or material immaterial just go ahead, so progress.  Run out of Paper  when we meet again I will argue it out with you