Mrs. J.R. Derbyshire
62 Friars Avenue
Northampton NN4 9PX
Siping Teacher's College
People's Republic of China
Home June 15th
My dear Son,
Writing this in a hurry. Letter from Anthony Sheil — your publisher — asking for your whereabouts, wants to get in touch with you, is this a good sign? I do hope so, I have sent on your adress stat. This is the message sent home today. "Dear Mrs D— I want to write to your son about his manuscript B.H.M. & wonder if you could confirm his current whereabouts"? With thanks & best wishes, A.S. pp Paul Marsh. (Dictated by Paul Marsh & signed in his absence)
I too should like a letter from you son, no news for 5 weeks! I begin to worry at this stage. I think I told you Dad broke 3 toes last week, his right foot & leg very swollen & bruised, he has to attend N.G.H. tomorrow they might put his leg into plaster, but I think it's still too swollen. You can imagine how he hates being imobile & housebound. He really isn't safe to be left at all. I'm not whining John, but I shall be glad when you're home, I need some moral support. Judy does what she can, — washing etc — I hate bothering any of you, but find it all very depressing. Noel said he'd come one week-end & trim hedges & I shall have a go with the lawn mower on Saturday, weather permitting — still cold winds & grey skies.
It's now evening, had dinner, washed up, watered garden, now will finish this, so I can post it in the morning. The sun is shining, but you really need your combs on! The garden looks very peaceful, but I'm a bit concerned about my wee pool, the water seems to be seeping out, I have reported it. I'm also having a few more slabs laid just beyond the edge of the bit of garden round the pool, a bit less grass to cut. The clematis has grown up & away beyond the trellis, but rather straggly & no buds yet. There are many foxgloves out, so tall & lovely colours, & if the birds don't get them first, lots of raspberries & hopefully strawberries. I bought a large plastic container & put all my house plants in on the patio. It looks very nice.
Thurs am. No letter, so will finish this off, get my pension, have my hair done, go to NGH with Dad, another day gone!
Please write dear, & let us know when to expect you.
Love as always
Mother X X X X X
I voted Maggie for you Grrrr!!!
- Actually a literary agent.
- "Combinations" — a type of woollen underwear, warm but proverbially unsightly and uncomfortable.
- There was a general election in the U.K. on June 9. It was won by Margaret Thatcher's Tory party. My mother voted for me by proxy. She voted Tory, according to my instructions, though her own sympathies were Labour.