27th July. 1947.
At long last I am getting down to writing you a letter to yourself, and answering your letters. It is awful that I should take such an age to do it, now that I am having such a lovely long holiday, but I think my laziness has come into its own again & I find I have the greatest difficulty in doing anything! Til & Lois keep saying, well what would you like to do your last few days, & I say, just sit in the house & do nothing!
First of all, I am just delighted to know that you have got my parcel safely, & that you like the things. I was getting quite worried when the parcel hadn’t come, because you were relying on it so, and I thought how awful if it does arrive and you don’t like the dress or anything! However, you really sound as if you did, and although it isn’t really what I wanted to get you, it is summery & pretty & wedding-y so I hope that you have a lovely day to wear it. I wrote to Nan & Mrs. Allen today, & I was so glad too, to hear that Nan had got 2 of her parcels anyway. By now perhaps the wedding present has arrived – I have an awful feeling they’ll have a hideous amount of duty to pay, but perhaps they won’t mind, as a Nan has been lucky about getting her other things free. I didn’t really think that Lois’ things would fit Nan, but I think it is a good idea to send them to Mary, if she thinks they’re any good. I’m glad she liked the mac. – it is kind of oldish but when it is cleaned, it will probably look better. Did Maud like her silk stockings & Nan her nylons? You mentioned her bathing suit- I thought it was a honey, didn’t you? – and her dress but not the cardigan – I hope that fitted it all right. I am sorry that Lois’ shoes were a bit tight for you – perhaps the cobbler man would stretch them. How Lois got them on I don’t know because she takes a bigger size than me! Try & get someone to take a snap of you all dressed up for the wedding so that I can see- I think you’ll look very smart, Mrs. Ewing! I was tickled at your remarks re. the funny little white hat – I thought you might have a few doubts about it, but I’m glad that you got it so that it suited you and I’m looking forward to seeing you in it. I shall be thinking of you all so hard next Saturday – you must go & have a lovely time and remember everything to tell me and have every other drink for me & kiss all the men twice– once for you & once for me!
I wrote to Nan as I told you, & in N.Y. I sent her a wedding card, & on Thurs. I will send her a cable – I have spent quite a while this afternoon thinking up snappy messages!! I think my one to Irene was so good that I find it difficult to surpass!! I wonder if Irene’s & Dottie’s parcels have come yet. I do hope poor Dottie gets hers all right this time with no duty to pay, as she has been unlucky before. I haven’t heard from Irene for quite a while, but I had the nicest letter from Dottie the other day, welcoming me back & saying that she was going to have a Welcome Home Party for me, & also that she had it all set up for me to speak to the Gosforth Inner Wheel! So it looks as if you’re going to hear your daughter make a speech after all! I also had a nice welcoming letter from Pam Hapgood in Cambridge, & even one from the old Howlett! Whilst I’m talking about Inner Wheels though, that reminds me of Amy! and her crazy idea of Nan being offended at her! At the time of Nan’s engagement she wrote & told me about it, & how Charlie wouldn’t let her send an engagement present. I thought of mentioning it to Nan but then I thought I better keep out of it so I didn’t even allude to it in writing back to Amy. Isn’t she silly sometimes!? I was sorry you didn’t have such a nice time on the river, but I was pleased that you had at last been having some really nice weather & I do hope it continues for the wedding. Whadyaknow about Liz & Phil?! That’s what the radio announcers in N.Y. have been calling our Royal Couple! Of course everyone over here was tickled to bits & the papers gave blow-by-blow descriptions of the courtship etc.! I was as thrilled as could be & all the Long Beach folk & Hugh were greatly amused at me & said you’d think she was my sister! Well, darn it, this will be the 1st wedding I’ll be home for, so I’ll go or bust!
I’m answering your letters now so expect some skipping around! I was so amused to hear of our old friend Matthew from Gosforth now being curate at St. Luke’s. He should be a vast improvement on some of the peculiar curates St. Luke’s has had, and I hope he likes it. I remember seeing him in Tilley’s a while back & noticing how grey he looked. I wonder if he & Mr. McC. will get on all right – I expect Matthew is very tactful! You said about Mary Nutley being there & having a lousy fortune told – poor Mary. I never got around to phoning Mary Johnson, but maybe I will when I’m in N.Y. again – maybe! There seem to be so many things to do & anyway I am nearly a pauper now as I have been buying presents for everyone & have just about enough to get me to N.Y. & that’s all! I am living on Til & Lois these 2 weeks & they keep trying to press money on me, but I’m not quite as hard up as that! I warned them in Long B. I’d come back penniless, so they are expecting it – before I left I gave them all presents- Margs a beach bag (she chose it) Monie an English cup & saucer (she collects them) A. Ettie bowls for her MixMaster (she’d broken hers) A. Moo a little teapot for 2! I sent C’Zelma & Em a little English china teapot with roses on, as a thank you & they were thrilled to bits with it. C’Z has tea in the afternoon so she will use it! I am not going to be able to get Til & Lois anything, but I thought I could maybe send them something English- what, Heaven knows!!
I was interested to hear the news about the Sheedys, & surprised about Denis not being at Nan’s wedding – but Winnie will be there I suppose. Denis is quite getting around nowadays, isn’t he? I haven’t written back to Joe yet – I wonder whether he’ll find a nice wife in Ireland?! Well of course the news of Joan Greenwood’s perfidy was a great disappointment to me! At the time I got your letter I felt quite upset about it, because I have felt so pleased & counted on it so & was looking forward to having a nice flat. However, I’ve got over it now & it can’t be helped, & Anne is sweet to help me. I will write to her – I haven’t heard from her by the way- and thank her, & anyway I’m sure she’ll find me someplace to go to, & then I can look around. She said that Jessie F. seemed quite annoyed when she heard I was to share with Joan but she already shares a nice place with Joan Watkins, so I don’t see there’s room for me there & anyway I’d rather not if possible! I hadn’t got Joan’s material for her, so that is one good thing. I looked at some in N.Y. but the thought of spending so many of my precious dollars just killed me & I put it off & now I’m so pleased! The sad story of Lady? with her mink coat is going to make me into an honest woman – well – comparatively! I’ll be kind of 1/2 and 1/2! I was tickled at you buying 2 new hats in 1 week – then getting another from me! My, my, Mrs. Ewing- you’re going to outshine me as to headgears!
I was so pleased to hear that the “Holiday”s had come at last, & I’m sure it will be all right now. I wonder if Pop really enjoys them or if he reads them & grouches at the same time!! Anyway it will be something for him to do! By the way, I know you will be heartbroken, but I truly had no money left to buy net for the curtains! I intended to get some if I had any left after buying presents, but I never did. Ain’t I a bad girl!! You knew how much I loved the thought of buying it, didn’t you!! Anyway, I didn’t buy your net & you broke my poor little pink cup so we are quits! Don’t worry though – it can’t be helped, & if it is useable that is better than nothing. We’re both bad girls!
I called Mrs. Pasquier this week & I am going to have lunch with her tomorrow. She & Mr. P are going to be in N.Y. around 10th of Aug. & are going to invite me & Miss Marie Stoll out to dinner so it will be rather fun meeting her with the Pasquiers there. I won’t mind at all, whereas I wasn’t at all keen on meeting her alone!
Now about your photo – I think it is really lovely, Mummy. It doesn’t flatter you but it is just like you – pretty & sweet & nice. I like it so much – far & away the loveliest & best picture I’ve ever seen of you. All the people at Long B. loved it & Hugh liked it too, & I was so proud to show it to Til & Lois & C’ Zelma & Em & Grandma. They all think we look alike & they think you are as pretty as can be. I haven’t got a frame, as I was kind of scared of getting it broken & anyway I can get a nice one at home. Thank you so much for having it taken money – I think it’s beautiful.
By the way, I forgot to tell you, Til’s son Bill is married again! On 4th July to a girl called Jan, age 18, living in Florida. He just wrote & told his mother, & that is all she knows, & of course he never even mentioned being interested in anyone when he was here. Til has had a snap of her since & she looks all right! But isn’t he the limit?
Don’t worry about my being hard up – I forgot to tell you I have some English money, so once I am on the ship I will be OK & I will have plenty to get me home. Did I ever tell you that I thought your W.P. to Nan & Dick was lovely? An electric blanket indeed! Even if it is small it doesn’t matter, & I’m sure they’ll love them- I told Nan we had her cold feet on our minds!!! You asked about Jessie H. in one of your letters – I have never heard a thing but Anne tells me, Jessie F. tells her, that Jessie H. told her that she had written to me twice! Well, I never got them! I’m sorry in a way, ‘cos I’d like to take Zinnia something, but I’m just not going to- meanie!
I must stop now, as I don’t want this letter to be overweight. I will write to you & Pop tomorrow & tell you of my week’s doings- nothing really much! On Tuesday Til & Lois & I are to go to the Nauts to dinner, but otherwise no engagements & I leave for N.Y. next weekend.
I’ll soon be home now!
Lots and lots of love