March 31 1953

31st March. 1953

Dearest Mummy,

Your lovely birthday letter & cards to Lindy & me arrived at the weekend in good time & thank you so much for them all. I thoroughly enjoyed your letter & the cards are just sweet – my birthday card is cute & Linda loves her lamb. I gave her both the cards to look at & she was very taken with hers especially & kept saying “Lamb from Grannie”, then suddenly she picked up mine & trotting off to the kitchen said “Garbage” firmly & was about to deposit it in the garbage can when I rescued it!! A few days ago I made a baked custard & put some coconut in- I was careful & tried to give Lindy no coconut but she managed to find a few pieces & carefully picked them out. Afterwards, Cec said to me “I can’t think what it is Lindy calls coconut- I kept repeating ‘Coconut’ & she said some strange word instead.” Next day I gave her more & carefully listened- her word for coconut was “Garbage”!

I am so sorry that I didn’t write last week – I had meant to write to get to you in time for Easter, but I went & got ‘flu! Fortunately it was a quickly-come, quickly-go affair & I feel fine again now, but it wasn’t very nice at the time. I told you that we had invited the Grahams in on Wed. evening & Alec & Phyl Douglas to help us cope with them. Well, I felt a bit vague all day & by the evening had quite a swollen throat but I took aspirin & felt not too bad. Alec & Phyl came first & the Grahams were late which was a good thing, because when they did come, Mrs. G. just talked continually & wore us all out!! We all drank your rum & it was much appreciated! Next day I just ached in every bone & felt shivery & still had the throat, so Cec came home at noon & I just fell into bed & slept. At 3:30 I got up again & Cec went off to work until 5:30 & when he got back I just collapsed in bed again! On Friday we meant to do the same sort of thing so that Cec could put in some time at work, but each time I got up & came downstairs I felt so weak & miserable I just wanted to cry, so Cec stayed home all day & I stayed in bed. Fortunately the weekend came then, so I stayed in bed nearly all Sat. & took things easy on Sun. & by yesterday I was all right again. It was a weird kind of ‘flu- no cold symptoms, just the throat & aches & misery! And what do you think? Poor Margie got flu too, just at the same time- wasn’t that a shame? Cy had been at home looking after the boys & then after the whole household when Margie & the baby came home, so when he came back to work yesterday Cec said he was really worn out & glad to be back! I am crossing my fingers & hoping that no one else caught my germs & so far there are no signs- Lindy has had a little sniffly cold the past week or so, but it is very slight. Charlie is fine – so cute & full of chuckles & laughs & what Linda calls “ ‘queals”! How dare you suggest any child of Cec’s & mine should resemble Christopher, I don’t know! Charlie is sweet looking now & very bright & alert- Christopher indeed! I am affronted!! 

Must stop now – dishes still to wash! Cec is taking me to see Barbara Ann Scott in an Ice Show on Fri.- won’t that be fun! Alec is coming to sit for us. XXX from Lindy & Charlie & lots & lots of love from us all – Cyn.

Just a note about Christopher, the baby Cyn is indignant about Carol’s comparing with baby Charlie. Cyn’s mother Carol had stayed with Cec and Cyn for 10 months in 1951/52 to help them with the new baby Linda and the move from university in Michigan to a job with the NRC in Ottawa. Cyn and Cec had had friends in Cambridge in the same field who had moved to Ottawa earlier, and had come to spend Christmas 1950 with them in Ann Arbor, both women being newly pregnant at the time. Christopher was born a week or so after Linda but apparently was a different sort of baby. The story I remember hearing was that at Easter in 1952 in Ottawa, when they were both 8 months old, Linda and Christopher were both given Easter baskets, and Linda, being mobile while Christopher was not, managed to take his basket away from him. (Reportedly, she like the sucker in the basket.) Christopher’s family moved back to England later that year, Linda’s Grannie went home to the West Indies, and so Christopher’s further development was unknown to both Cyn and Carol, but obviously an opinion lingered…

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