August 28 1952

28th Aug. 1952.

Dearest Mummy,

I have been meaning to write all week but as usual we have been in a tizzy, & last night which was to be devoted to letter writing I only managed to write to Ruth & Amy I thought I had better get that done as the wedding is a week today – isn’t it incredible? Did you hear that the parcels had arrived safely except for one “porridge plate”? So I can replace that easily & Ruth seems delighted with them.

Ruth Stainthorpe had been Cyn’s bridesmaid, and her father, Dr. Stainthorpe, had given her away.

Thank you so much for your letter & also Lindy’s present, cards & cable. She had a lovely birthday – actually spread out onto Sat. too, as we hadn’t time to shop on the weekend Mill & Ford were here, so we decided to just give her a card & book on the day & take her shopping on Sat. a.m. We gave her all her cards at breakfast time & she thoroughly enjoyed looking at them all & so did we & laughed & laughed over the “potty” one, as that was to be one of our presents to her. We had talked about a “party” & decided against it, as we hadn’t seen Karen & Jennifer for ages & anyway thought Lindy would be really happier & less confused just alone with her presents. I made her a cake with pink icing, but I’m damned if I could find Amy’s candle & holder! I searched high & low & turned out all the drawers, but in the end I stuck some toothpicks in the middle & hope they look like a candle in the snap! We didn’t either eat the cake or take pictures till Sunday as the end of last week was so cold & we couldn’t sit outside. I got quite worried as Lindy had no winter clothes yet, but this week it is broiling- over 90° today & the mosquitoes are worse or as bad as they ever were. We can’t go on the grass at all & Lindy is smeared with 6.12 & still gets bitten. To return to her birthday – Cec came home early & we had great fun & opened all her presents. She loves her red shoes and after a struggle to get them on she was most intrigued! Of course she likes to play with them & chew them more than wear them, but on those cold days I was very glad to have them for her to wear as the floor was cold. She didn’t walk or do anything extraordinary on her birthday, but was a sweet happy baby all the time. As far as I can tell she seems just about the same as when you left & does nothing new, but probably you would see a change.

On Sat. after her nap we took her downtown & went to Frieman’s toy department. We got her some “Building Beakers” made by the same people who made the “Crackles”. They are bright plastic cups (12) which fit into each other & then turned upside down have a rim & can build on each other too. We went & looked at feeding dishes & they were $8- we nearly collapsed! So we went to that Baby Shop on Dalhousie St. where we got her harness & got a wooden toidy seat, a blue pot, a pr. of plastic pants, & a lovely little dish there. The dish is china with three compartments & in each compartment are pictures of pretty little coloured dogs, cats, bunnies etc.! The outside is chromium & holds the hot water & it is very nice we think. Linda likes it too & has been eating well. I am just thrilled with my daughter because on Mon. I cut out her early bottle (she never wakes till after 7 now & never seems to really need it) & after breakfast took her to the bathroom & put her on her little seat. She was slightly alarmed but very amused at my grunts & then amazed at the results when she grunted too!! She has performed each morning since, so see! – no trouble if you leave it long enough!!

On Sat p.m. we began to shop around for furniture for a spare room & went to a few places with ads. in the paper. We ended at a bachelor’s flat- he was selling everything & going into a furnished place & also worked at the Council & – hold your breath- we bought a desk, armchair, chesterfield, chest of drawers & daybed!! He is in no hurry for the money so we are paying him on time! The desk (oak – old, but nice), ch. of dr. (old & we will refinish) are for the front room – the daybed is just a small metal frame with thin cotton mattress & cover, will go in “your” room, & sleeps 2 people in an emergency- the ch’field & chair (about 1 yr. old- dark red-) are for the sitting room & the other chair will go upstairs. It all came this morning & we feel very pleased with ourselves & just full of furniture!! We hope to let the room early next month, so will get it fixed this weekend – it should look very nice, I think. Have all sorts of other things to tell you- Lindy’s other presents & cards- what we’ve been doing & answering your letter, but have no room & it is time for lunch anyway, so will write later in the week. My love to everyone & a hug from Lindy- please thank Auntie Trix for her share of the cable. 

                          Lots & lots of love from


The spate of weddings that suddenly appeared in the Costains’ lives in the summer of 1952 is a subtle reminder that now they are part of the older generation- been there, done that, have a baby with another on the way.  Cyn had worked as a teacher for ten years, throughout the war and after, and although Cec had just finished with university, he had been an older student at Cambridge and Michigan, with his war years as a naval officer behind him.  Now they are established with a permanent job, and the younger ones are getting married- Cyn’s bridesmaid, Ruth Stainthorpe, Keith Innes from the NRC, and then Al McNamara, Cec’s friend from university at home. Cec and Cyn are becoming part of the stable community at the NRC, staying there, looking for a permanent house, nurturing their growing families, entertaining and helping each other, as the younger post-doctorate fellows come- for 2 years- and go.  So this summer, as well as preparing for weddings, they are getting ready for a lodger to help with expenses from among the new arrivals.

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