»  Letter: Monday, May 23, 1983

    E.A. Derbyshire to John Derbyshire

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  Transcription of Letter

Mrs. J.R. Derbyshire
62, Friars Avenue
Northampton NN4 9PX

Mr. John Derbyshire
Siping Teacher's College
Siping City
Jilin Province
People's Republic of China

May 23rd 1983

My dear Son,

Another birthday rolls round, can't stop 'em can you? I hope it's a happy day for you dear. I've got your copy of "Middlemarch", but won't send it unless you say so, I'll keep it till you come home. Last Wednesday we had a lovely surprize, Robert & Janet came to show us our little Great Grandson, at 5 months a lovely little soul! bright as a button, they came at around 12.30 & stayed till 4 o'clock. We had a very happy time.

Well dear, the bathroom is finished, it looks super, am now awaiting Rays bill with bated breath, I expect it to be around £250, if you can manage £100 John O.K., but don't if it skins you for getting home, I might wangle £100 from Dad, & this month I don't have a household bill so I'm hoping to put £100 of my £109 pension into the Halifax, as long as I can keep about £70 or 80 in my current account. We start paying rates again tomorrow. we have to pay £18-62 monthly so Dad & I pay that between us, we get £1-26 rebate weekly. March & April are free months so I've been saving that. Election[1] fever mounts & they're all backbiting & slandering each other, what with this & the perishing weather, — which continues wet, grey & cold — it's very depressing. Robert took some pictures of the house, so I'll send them on if & when I get them. I am going to town soon to have a look-see at some Cushion floor for the bathroom & a new shower curtain. The men are starting the extension on Judy & Phil's house this week. They're having a "Granny-Room" downstairs & a loo, shower & bath upstairs, The estimate is £5000, so they're extending their mortgage. Judy says it will put a lot of value on the house, if & when they want to sell. Tess[2] is staying on at school, she has exams coming up, so you can guess she's a bit wrought. Dad isn't too bad, up & down, but still having gut trouble, but I'm afraid he'll have to resign himself to it, its diverticulitis, I'm sure you know what this is.

By the way John, is your asthma any better where you are, I think of you as I seem to have developed a hay-fever recently, sneezing, runny nose & eyes, I hope its only momentarily.! I went to the Garden Centre one day last week, bought a water lily & more oxygenating plant. It all looks lovely, have a mass of bluebells round the pool, raspberries & strawberries in flower & the clematis is climbing up the wall. I think you can guess I'm counting the weeks now dear.

What do I do John if the money in your mortgage account runs out, I don't know if you've made any arrangements with the Halifax. No news of your book or rebate. Will let you know of course if anything comes. By the way dear, don't use naughty words in your letters, it embarrasses Dad!! He's a bit of a prude. Its raining again & its late Monday night, so I'm off to bed, post this in the morning.

    As always

                Love you

                    X X X X  Mother

Tues. 25th

Rays bill just come  £300. Wow!! but worth it.!!



  1. A general election was scheduled for June 9.
  2. Age 15.