This letter contains one of those mysteries where both the sender and recipient know what has happened so there is no need to discuss it, and we can only guess.
37 De Freville Ave.
Dearest Little Mummy,
Thank you for your telegram & letter. I was so disappointed that you couldn’t come on Friday after all, but I quite understand that of course it was much more sensible to stay up there once you are there, rather than make another journey.
You have been having a horrible and wildly busy time – I am only sorry that I couldn’t be with you to help you, but I knew that all your friends would be sweet & kind, & I hope that Uncle John and Mary were of some help. I suppose they went back on Thursday as planned though, so you will have had all these days to get through without them, but I hope that the worst business was over by then, & that Maud and Chris would help you.
As I will be seeing you so soon, I won’t write anything about all the arrangements and what you have had to do, as we will be able to talk at all over when you get back. But I know you were having a wretched worrying time, dear, and I do hope you will try not to worry too much, because you have done all that could be done, over many years, and I think that it will all turn out for the best eventually.
I had a note from Joe on Friday saying he was coming & he arrived yesterday evening. At the moment he is very busy in the conservatory & has done all sorts of things- mended one broken shelf- lifted some others to make them straight- screwed up a loose bracket & it looks to me now as if he were going to mend the door! However, you better not tell Winnie all this, as apparently you mentioned the fact of his doing odd jobs before, & she must’ve been remarking on it to him! Probably, you better not tell her he’s here at all! By the way, it is Winnie’s birthday on Tuesday & I am sending a card.
Last night Joan had a little party, with two Poles, a fat girl Anne, Pam & George, & Joe & me. We all got quite matey & though Joe didn’t want to go, I think he really enjoyed it once he was there. Anne Chapman came in this morning (brought me 6 eggs & Joe brought 8- come home quick & help eat them!!!!) & Pam invited us all up for coffee at 12.0, so we had another little gathering. After all this we were not a bit hungrey, so we skipped lunch & are having a light tea & dinner this evening! I don’t know how Joe’s digestion will stand it- mine feels most odd!!
I must stop now, honey & catch the post. Take care of yourself now, & come home safe and sound on Wednesday. Pam and Joan & the butcher & the cats all keep asking when you’re coming & you’ll get a very warm welcome from all of them as well as from your loving daughter! We will be able to have a lovely lazy time during the holidays after Friday.
Joe sends his love, & I send lots & lots from me-
Love to Mrs. Johnny & Bella & Maud & Winnie & all the others.
Clues: It is later in the year of 1948 or even possibly 1949, because Cyn’s address is that of the flat she shared with her mother, so it would be at least spring of 1948, because they are obviously living there together. However, something has happened in Newcastle, because that is where Carol is, dealing with something upsetting. I assume this was the catastrophic medical incident that resulted in the husband she had left, Gordon, being hospitalized- but I don’t know what that was. I think that the ‘Uncle John and Mary’ mentioned were Ewings, probably Gordon’s older brother, and Maud and Winnie were friends of long-standing. The ‘Joe’ visiting Cyn in Cambridge is a Sheedy, also longtime Newcastle neighbours of the Ewings, possibly a younger brother of her childhood friends, and obviously handy to have around the house! From the list of things he’s fixing, it sounds as if they haven’t lived there very long. Maybe when Carol gets back, she and Cyn will be planning a house-warming party…