37 de Freville Ave.
2nd Nov. 1949
Here we are – back home again! And despite all the traveling, feeling quite rested and better for the change. We did dash about of course, as I always do in N/C, but having Cec with me made all the difference, and of course, both our hostesses were very good about letting us sleep late! I felt really tired last week- I think Bar was a bit of an effort- but I feel fine now.
After we left you on Friday – hope you got home quite safely – we went & got in our little sleepers & they were sweet. Two little cabins with a communicating door, and lots of cunning little gadgets- lights, ventilators, coat hangers, washbasin etc.- and very comfortable beds with linen sheets! We crawled in, & both slept like logs, & were awakened by the steward with cups of tea at 5:45. We dashed to get ready & when we ventured out onto N/C platform here was Bill waiting for us with the car. Irene had a lovely fire on, & breakfast all ready so we tucked in & were amazed to find ourselves sitting around the fire talking with the lights on at 7.0 a.m just as if it were 7.0 p.m.! We all chatted, then I washed my hair (!) and we seemed to have such a lot of time before we finally set out for town, where we had coffee with Dottie & Marjorie. We went back to Irene’s for lunch & in the afternoon Cec and I had been invited to Nan and Dick’s for tea. However, Bill was going to the Football Match- a big one, Arsenal & N/C United- & Cec was panting to go with him, so I let him go! I went down to Nan’s at about 3.15 & Cec came after the Match soon after 5. Mrs. Allen was at Nan’s as she has sprained her ankle, but none of them seemed to mind Cec’s late coming!
The first view I had of the baby was in the pram, with Dick wheeling him down the road – proud Papa! He is not a pretty baby! But he is a big boy- tall, not fat, and looks definitely like Tom & Peter when he was a baby, I think. Mrs. Allen doesn’t see it, but he has a rather long thin face & head like theirs, not a chubby little round baby one. He was rather pale, although Nan said he was really a rosy baby, but he had no spots or anything. His hair is really red, but it is rubbing off, and the new lot looks browner. On the whole I thought he was a fine boy, but not being a chubby little thing, he doesn’t look so cute. My big surprise was Nan! Irene had warned me, but I suppose I just couldn’t visualize Nan as immense – but she is! When she opened the door, I actually had to look twice to be sure it really was Nan. Apart from her body, which is quite solid & stout – rather Mrs. Allen’s figure- her face has altered so. Instead of seeing Nan’s high cheekbones, as one used to do, it is completely fat & round & red! She is wearing her hair sort of skinned back & she reminds me a bit of Mrs. Scott. I was surprised!!
We had a nice tea, and Cec came in & we talked a bit & Nan took the baby and fed him & put him to bed. Then as Mrs. A. was spending the evening there, they came up to Killingworth with us just for a breath of fresh air. They didn’t come in & it was just as well, as Irene had cooked a dinner & we had a glass of sherry & then had a lovely meal. We were all tired, so I went & had a bath & Cec helped Bill & Irene wash up & we were all in bed in a short while.
I forgot to tell you that before I went to Nan’s I rang up the Hospital & Dr. Murphy was away, but I asked if there was a message, & the man said that my Father was very keen to see me, so I arranged to go on Sunday at 2:30. On the Sunday morning, we got up late & had breakfast then Bill drove us down to the coast. It was a lovely morning, & we drove down by Seaton Delaval & to St. Mary’s Island. We got out & walked round it- the first time since goodness knows when – and then drove to Tynemouth, to the Park Hotel for lunch.
Afterwards Bill drove us to the Hospital & left Cec and me there. As we didn’t know whether Cec should come in with me or not, he stayed in the waiting room, & when I saw my Father he said that he didn’t want to see a stranger, so I just left it at that. He was quite nice about Cec though, and didn’t say anything about the wedding. He was looking pretty much the same, in health, but was much quieter and more rational in his manner- not the incessant talking. He talked, of course, in the same strain, but in a more normal way and the decent man with specs in charge of the Ward (what is his name?) said that he was quieter and more rational now, and appreciated more what was being done for him. Mr.?? asked for you and said that if either of us wanted to know anything just to write to him direct. He has arranged for my Father to have a bigger room to himself & he says he passes his time playing chess & bagatelle & reading. I asked him if he thought my Father would remain rational if he did come out of Hospital as he keeps wanting to but he said that he was afraid not – it was the regular quiet life with no upsets that was what he needed. I talked to my father (or rather he talked to me) for about an hour, then he said not to keep Cec waiting any longer & I left & arranged to go back the next day.
We went back to Irene’s for tea, & then got ready straight away and went down to Walkerville. We dashed to Amy & Charlie’s first as we knew they would be going to Church, & talked for a little while before they went. Then we went on to little Mrs Johnny & she was very sweet to us both. To Dawson’s next, where we had a glass of wine! – and then to Sheedies. I may say that all your friends were enquiring for you very tenderly & saying you hadn’t written for a long time!
We enjoyed our evening at Sheedies & I liked Dorothy very much. I thought she & Denis were a very well matched couple & both Cec & I thought that they would be very happy together. We finally got back to Irene’s around 11 o’clock.
I’ve been writing this for 2 days now & will post it as I know you will be waiting for a letter. I’ll tell you the rest tonight & post it tomorrow – as you’ll gather this has been done at school!
My love to AGL & Chris & lots & lots for you