»  Letter: Monday, April 25, 1983

    E.A. Derbyshire to John Derbyshire

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April 25th 1983.


got your letter & requests Saturday. Herewith your Beatles tape. PEST!! Don't you think I make a good box.? I shall try & get a paper back "W.H."[1] when I go into town, if not I have a book here which I will send to you towards week-end. I'll buy you "Middlemarch" for your birthday, but will keep it till you come. Surely you liked "Tess of the Dvs" though I wanted to kick "Angel" up the backside, a very weak character, but then I suppose the story would have had a different ending if he had been otherwise. Judy bought me a book "The diary of Adrian Mole," supposedly by a boy of 13½, A.M. I mean. It is hilarious & a great insight into the mind of a 13½ year old boy. I laughed till I cried at parts. His feelings towards his grotty parents, his doting granny, girl friend & his own awakening sexuality, he measures his "Thingy" every five minutes & cannot understand it having "a life of its own", it really is funny.

Dad seems a little better, some days not too bad at all. I've had diarrhoia since Friday, though it seems to be on the wane now, lost 5 lbs  Alas, only fluid loss, not F.A.T. It's poured for days but sunny now. The garden is a picture, I wish I could get a snap for you, I did ask Phil, but he's so busy & obviously forgotten. The daffs will soon be over, but lots of tulips, lillies, pansies & many other flowers & shrubs ready to bloom. I have to get a water lily for the pool, but they're very pricey & not yet available, May, I think. Well, dear, time is rolling on, Ray is tiling the bathroom, I went & ordered the tiles on Friday & paid for them £157-50, that is 17½ sq. yds. a pale, pale creamy green, with a daisy patterned one here & there. The fella also threw in 4 × 12" mirror tiles which Ray is putting on the big wall. I don't know what the labour will be but Ray is a perfectionist, so I know it will look great & I'm sure you'll be pleased.

I'm counting the weeks now till you return, if end of July about 14 weeks.

All for now  My love, take care

                Love as always

        X  X  X     Mother, Dad & family.

P.S.  Marcus[2] is waiting for you to show him how to make models, see him swim, roller-skate & ride his motor-bike!!



  1. I was teaching extracts from English literature to the senior classes at Siping. One extract in the textbook was from Wuthering Heights, a book I had never read.
  2. Age 6 at this point.