January 1 1951

Visitors!

Jan 1st 1951

Dearest Mummy,

Happy, Happy New Year!  Cec and I send our love and all our good wishes for a beautiful 1951, and hope that you have a lovely time.

We have had the laziest New Year’s Day! In fact, since our guests left on Sat. we have been in a state of collapse and exhaustion, and have done very little except sleep and rest! That sounds bad, doesn’t it, but the fact is that we were really tired when Christmas came, and visitors are a bit of a strain anyway, so it’s nice to relax and have this weekend to ourselves. 

I’ll begin at the beginning though, and tell you all about Connie & Leonard’s visit and what sort of a Christmas we all had. Actually, the week before Christmas was hectic – we were busy at work, and each evening at home I had jobs to do- scrubbing the kitchen floor!- icing the cake – ironing- finishing Christmas shopping- making cookies etc. so when we got a letter from C&L saying that they would spend Fri. night in Detroit & come to us on Sat. I was very pleased. We scurried around & were more or less set when they arrived at about 11:30 on Sat. – the friend they’d stayed with brought them in his car. Connie & Leonard looked just the same as ever – their shoes beautifully polished!! The friend, Howard, is an ex-Englishman from Plymouth (knows L’s uncle) who married a US exchange teacher before the war & came over here with her. He is naturalized now, but his wife died recently & he is very nervy & strung up, poor man. He was going on to spend Christmas with his in-laws, so only stayed for a cup of coffee. We gave C&L our bedroom, so they unpacked & we had lunch & in the afternoon the Simpsons, Joan & Oliver & their little boy Christopher, came to tea. They knew the Boveys of course, so we all had quite a gossipy time, & Christopher was very cute & very intrigued with a gum-drop tree which we gave him! They finally went, & we had dinner & by then were all a bit tired, so just chatted till bedtime. Cec & I slept on the sitting room sofa which pulls out into a double bed & wasn’t bad at all.

On Sunday we had the Sutherlands coming to tea, so after our morning breakfast & chores we were all buzzing around when Connie had a nosebleed & eventually fainted. Apparently, she has these nosebleeds sometimes but this one was very violent & she just passed out & scared us to bits. Fortunately, we had some brandy (for the Christmas cake!!) & she came around quite quickly, but looked poorly. However, she was up when the S’s came & we had quite a nice tea party & Connie took the rest of the day quietly.

She was going to go to Church with me on Christmas morning but didn’t feel too well, so I went by myself, & when I got back we had breakfast & then opened our presents! I can’t remember what I told you in our funny Christmas day letter so I’ll tell you the presents again anyway. Cec & I thought C&L so queer as they didn’t give each other anything! Connie had a pair of new shoes with her that she said were from Len, but there was no word of what she given him, & she told us at great length one day of how they took very little notice of Christmas at home etc.! Anyway, Cec & I gave her a pair of nylons, & some plastic bowl covers for the fridge, & Len a pair of gaudy nylon socks & an Esquire calendar of 1/2 clad girls(!!), & a box of sweets to both. They gave us a book of pictures of Oxford & Cambridge & gave us another book of pictures of England when they left, the photos are lovely.

Cec gave me a dress! It is pretty pale blue, & a lovely brown cord boxy handbag. I gave him a pr. of slacks(!) – they are a nice gray–blue, & finally finished that gray- blue sweater!! & a new belt & an ashtray & a diary! We had a nice time anyway. We also got the Book Club from Dottie, & a sub. to Reader’s Digest from Merle & Dixon, & some pretty little square mats with flowers on from Amy & I got a book from Mrs. Allan & a hankie puff from Nan & a little diary from Miss Lefroy.  The S’s gave us a bottle of sherry (fair exchange- we gave them one!) & Gunborg gave me a cake, & Mrs. Kaufman made me a lovely sponge cake. Irene sent me a box of bath cubes & Bill sent Cec a book of cartoons, so we really had a lot. Your parcel hasn’t come yet, but it is lovely to have it to look forward to.

Connie & I stuffed the turkey & put it in, & then Mr. & Mrs. K. came up for a glass of sherry during the afternoon. We finally had our dinner & the turkey was grand, but we ate so much we couldn’t eat any pudding! It was one Mrs. Atkinson gave me ages ago, so I don’t know what it would have been like anyway, but when I went out later, I had forgotten it & it had boiled dry & was like a hard stone! we threw it out!

Next day we took C&L to town & they shopped a bit, but it was very cold (snow on the ground all the time) so we didn’t stay too long. In the evening we went to the S’s “English” party- us & the Simpsons & Dockerills & had a lovely time. We had a buffet style meal, & then looked at colour photos & had Swedish “glögg” (a kind of hot punch) before we went home. We all got presents from under the tree – mine was “foam baths “& Cec got a cigar! Little Mary got Santa’s Candy Store & was thrilled to bits!

Next day we went for our first long drive in the car – to Toledo! We set off at about 10:30 in the morning & Cec drove about 1/2 way, & then I drove the rest. We had a cup of hot chocolate in the middle, but it was a very cold day, with bright sun on the snow, so it wasn’t too good driving, but we managed fine. We arrived in good time for lunch & Til & Lois were pleased to see us, & it was fun showing Connie their pretty house. We had a drink & a nice dinner of roast beef & floating island, & felt very bloated! We took Til a rolling pin & pie plate for her Christmas present! They were very pretty cream oven proof ware, with a wreath of green ivy leaves & she thought they were cute & so did I! We took a Lois a beer stein for her evening beer & she liked that too. They gave us our Christmas & wedding present & so did Ruth, & they were lovely. Ruth’s was towels – gorgeous tomato & lime green ones! Til & Lois’ was a waffle iron and grill combination – yes, I know we have one! And we had to confess we had, (we got it with Marie’s money, remember?) – but this one is twice as big & very nice, so we will have to see if we can sell the other. That reminds me, we got an invitation to Bebe’s wedding, so will have to send something, but haven’t her address – will you send it to me? And of course give her the embroidered tablecloth – I think it is a very good idea & don’t mind a bit. I have one of your table cloths, & at the moment don’t get a chance to use it much, so don’t mind doing without the other. 

Lois & Connie behind Cyn & Til.

Ruth & Mary & the children came to visit while we were there, but we left between 4 & 5 & Cec drove all the way home & was very good. My clever little husband.

Next day I went to work for the morning- Cec drove me – & then met the others for lunch in town. They then went shopping & Cec & I came home & I baked a big mince pie & got dinner ready as the Dockerills were coming. We had cold turkey & ham, stuffed baked potatoes, vegetable casserole, salad, cranberry sauce etc. then the mince pie, & everyone seemed to enjoy it. Instead of a jigsaw puzzle this year, Cec got us a game- at least 4 games in 1- & one is Chinese Checkers & we played that & had quite fun. 

Friday I went to work 1/2 day again, & then Cec took the Boveys shopping again & I washed! In the evening after dinner we went to the Simpsons for coffee, & then on Sat. morning we drove C&L to Detroit to Howard’s & we all went out to lunch. They were going back by train either yesterday or today. We got back here about 5 & Cec got a cup of tea ready & then I fell asleep on the sofa till 8 o’clock when he woke me for a sandwich! Then at 9 he took over the sofa & slept till 11 when we tottered to bed & slept till 11 next morning!!

We hadn’t made any plans for New Year’s Eve, but Gordon came around & asked us to see it in with them so we did, & Anne and Kirsten sneaked down & joined in too! We called in at Pete & Mary Jo’s on the way home & Gordon came & first-footed us so we had fun. Today we got up late & Cec had a grand time listening to the big football game in the Rose Bowl in California- California v. Michigan & we won!

As you can imagine our visitors weren’t all joy! We decided that one trouble was that they stayed a bit too long for our small flat, & by the end we were all a bit too much on top of each other. They were very good about helping, but Connie was poorly off & on all the time – she didn’t know whether it was the “debility” thing she’s been having or if she was “preggy”! She was only 1 week overdue, so I don’t know if that was much to go by, but she made me laugh by saying that everyone had been trying to make her pregnant for the past 2 years!! Anyway, apart from that Cec & I think she is very spoilt, & gets peevish on the slightest provocation, so she annoyed us a bit. Another thing that annoyed us was that they are absolutely obsessed with money & could talk of very little else. They constantly were comparing prices with Canada, & every other thing they would say we can’t afford that, and actually they are getting just what we were before I was working & what we still live on (as my pay goes for McTavish) so they are not so poverty- stricken as all that! However, the visit is over & we all parted on friendly terms!

Talking of babies & being preggy, I had a letter from Anne written on the day hers was born- the 19th. A little girl Janita Margarita – 8 lbs 1 1/4 ozs- after only 3 hours labour – Anne very thrilled & pleased of course! We also had news that Jean & Graham are having one in May- Joan & Ray in June- & Millie at work in June! Isn’t it amazing? We were also very thrilled to hear from Jennifer – the D.Sc. teacher from London who travelled over on the ship with us last year. We had often wondered & she writes to say that she & Ben (the ex-RAF fellow who was on the ship too) were married in April, & they have bought a holiday camp in Ontario & are having a baby this summer too! I am so happy to have my curiosity gratified!

I forgot to tell you that your letter with the maps & plans of the island came on the 29th (posted 27th N.) & thank you very very, very much honey. I enjoyed them & am keeping them with me for reference in future – it is much more fun to actually have some idea where everything is.

Must stop now & go to bed – work again tomorrow – I feel quite unaccustomed to the thought! My love & good wishes to Aunties Moo & Ettie- got A. Moo’s Christmas card & your card to the Boveys – 

        With lots & lots of love

                    from Cynnie & Cec.

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