»  Letter: Wednesday, June 1, 1983

    E.A. Derbyshire to John Derbyshire

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  Transcription of Letter

Mrs J.R. Derbyshire
62, Friars Avenue
England NNP 9PX

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

June 1st 1983

My dear Son,

I can hear heavy breathing at the front door! Only Dad returning from the shops. he's always exhausted, but he tries, it's been weeks since he could venture out. Sad news dear, Uncle Bill died in his sleep last Friday, lovely for him, but I feel sad that he had to end his life as he did, we had some lovely times together in my young days, well it's nice to have good memories. Judith is going to the cremation service at Bushbury on Friday. I don't want to go, so I'm having Marcus, it would upset me too much. Douglas hasn't contacted us, if I hadn't rung Uncle Harold last Sunday, we shouldn't have known.

Anyway, we're still having rain & more rain, terrific thunder storms, everywhere is sodden, farmers squealing nothing is ripening. Last Saturday Len & Janet, Auntie Cis came to see the garden & bathroom, Monday — Noel, Dot, Peter & Angie came, bathroom very much admired, Judy came over & we all went up to the Queen Eleanor for a drink. Tuesday — Michael, Lynn & Auntie came — to see the garden & bathroom, again very much admired, so I can't wait for your verdict. I've paid Ray, the whole lot, that is the suite & labout, tiles stripping, replastering & labour almost £100, but it's worth it, we shall have to have a radiator of some sort for Winter, but that can wait till you come home. You have £341 in Barclays, thought I'd let you know, in case you are relying on that to get you home! Mike asked me to ask you if you can get him a copy of a book by Frederick Brown called "The Night of the Jabberwock" — I hope that's right, he said he'd been told it can only be obtained in the U.S., wondered if you knew anyone who could get it for him.

I had a call from Glenville — Uncle Joe's son to say he had some enquiries from a fella from Pensylvania U.S. — name of Knowles, who's ancestors emigrated from Dudley decades ago, he was in Wolverhampton trying to trace family. I know G'dad Knowles originated from Dudley, but he was an only child & Great Granny's name was Adlington[1]. I was able to estimate when Granny & G'dad where born & married, but that's all.

I've heard nothing more from Tax people or your Publisher[2], whose name by the way is Geiss. Len knew of them & said you should have heard by now, let's hope it's a good sign. I'll leave this open till tomorrow, in case there's a letter from you.

It's now 8th June, another crisis! Dad fell down 2 steps yesterday & has 2 fractures in his foot. The ambulance fellas have just brought him back & I've settled him in the rocking chair by the window. He's now on crutches. I wonder what next!! I've got your proxy polling card, thank God when it's over.[3]  It's all lies! Marcus[4] burnt his leg on the exhaust of his motor bike on Sunday, quite a nasty burn so I had him Monday, but he slept most of the afternoon. Weather somewhat improved, sunny, but still cool & windy. I'm going to try & cut the grass, Noel said he'd come one week-end to do the hedges.



  1. Actually "Hadlington."
  2. She means "agent."
  3. Election season. There was a general election June 9, won by Margaret Thatcher's Tory party.
  4. Age 6½ at this point.