October 1953

In the two previous letters, Cyn made references to her mother’s questions and promised to answer them soon.  In her first October letter, she had said she was writing the long letter but wouldn’t be finishing it until later.  Although that letter exists, it is lacking the first two pages, so the first questions and answers are unknown, as is the date it was started. It finishes just after Thanksgiving, so was probably mailed in the middle of the month and Carol would have no reason to complain that her queries had not been attended to!  

A word about Cyn ordering things from Harrod’s in England- she had a bit of money there that she couldn’t?/hadn’t? transferred to Canada, so she used it for things like children’s clothes and the gift to Ruth (who had been her bridesmaid) for her baby. It solved the problem of her English friends having to pay duty on presents she sent them, but she didn’t really know what she had sent, and she had to pay duty on the things she’d ordered for herself in Canada. 

The letter starts on page 3 with Cyn addressing  Question 3:

3. Do I ever hear from:

A. Til & Lois – haven’t heard in an age- they must be about the only people I don’t owe a letter to! Will write next month for Til’s birthday.

B. Gunborg- was over in England & Sweden this summer for six weeks- flew. The girls went to summer camp. Haven’t heard from her since she came back, but she sent Lindy a darling baby doll for her birthday. It was waiting when we got back from our holiday & when Lindy opened the parcel & saw it, she just lifted it out & cuddled it up & said “My baby!” in such a tender little voice! It has a little bottle & takes water out of it & wets its diaper! Lindy thinks it more fun to suck the water out of the wee bottle herself, most of the time!

C. Connie & Leonard – haven’t heard for a long time, cards only exchanged at Linda & Christophers’ birthdays! Leonard is working at Harwell (British Atomic Energy place) & they live near there – have no idea if it’s a house, flat or what.

4. Dan!

He is behaving all right but is still as big a bore and as stupid as ever! He went down to Columbus, Ohio for his holiday (1st 2 weeks in Aug.) to see some American girl he came over on the boat with & of course came back engaged! Unofficially as he has no money to buy a ring! Of course his ego is sky high & he blabs to any & everyone who will listen, but he gets no encouragement- from us, or anyone else as far as I can gather! He talks of her coming up & their getting married in the New Year- always with a pleased smirk & phrasing it as if the girl was just pining away for him! None of us can possibly imagine what she can be like because from what Cec knows at the Lab. & the other girls I talk to, everyone is as bored with him as we are & none of us can think how anyone could spend a whole day with him let alone a lifetime! However – if it comes to anything I’ll let you know! Phyl thinks she must be young & silly- I think she must be older & at her last chance (à la Jessie F.!) One thing I will say for Dan – he is really very fond of children & very good with them. He is awfully patient & kind with Lindy & on Sat. morning will read her stories & play horse-back with her & so on for ages.

5.  The house plants. 

Well   ——————-  ————————-  ————————— they have been out all summer & while the begonias have flourished the others look pretty sick! The African violet Mrs. B gave me in hospital died altogether- I think it was too hot for it– & I think the philodendron dried out while we were away! Oh well – we can’t all have green thumbs!

6. I will try to remember to send the christening films, if this letter is too heavy we will send them by sea.

7. The high chair for Ruth’s baby- 

Lalapalooza = Very, very, very elegant! Ruth & Amy both rave over it, so it must be something – especially as Ruth says it is the nicest present Richard has had. I asked them to send one of the kind that turns into a low table when the child gets older, & it is painted cream & that is all I know. 

Did I tell you that I got Harrods to send me some things? 

3 pairs Viyella rompers – 1 blue & white for Charlie; 1 red & white for Lu’s baby; 1 yellow for Margie’s baby.  1 green flowered Viyella dress & pants for Linda. 2 blue wool buttoned up cardigans for C. & L. 

I had to pay duty of course, but they are all very nice & I feel it is worthwhile as the equivalent here is ‘way beyond us. I am also getting them to send a winter outfit for Lindy- they sent a mag. of illustrations & I chose one in blue (pastel) tweed – coat, leggings, bonnet & beret. The latter is for Charlie when it’s handed down to him! I will get a cheap snowsuit for Lindy to play in & then she’ll wear the other for “best”! I have just got her 2 prs. of corduroy “jeans”, blue & green, to wear out to play with her little windbreaker jacket just now. She has a red beret & red mitts with snowmen on! Also some new brown shoes – proper little Oxfords – very grown-up!

I forgot to tell you that when we were away I finally got Lindy’s “Family Allowance”- back pay from Jan. 1st- so I got $30.00 altogether! I was so tickled & had such a spree with my Eaton’s & Simpson’s catalogues! I got a new garbage can for the kitchen (!!) (red & white); a combined bread & cake box (red & white); a mincing machine; a square cake tin; a weighted floor polisher; a brown skirt for me (cheap to wear around the house);3 prs. nylons for me!! Wasn’t that nice?

Talking of catalogues you asked me once about sending Eaton’s to you – well, they don’t mail them – you have to collect them & they are so enormous they would weigh a ton. Also, the one I get I use until the next arrives & then the 1st is out of date. However I am sending their summer sale catalogue just to show you a few things we got for Lindy etc. & you can tell me if it is any use. I am also sending another dress pattern- you asked me to send some once & I got these. Actually I was thinking if this one was any good & either you or one of the cousins tried it, I could use a sundress (for my birthday) next summer! I take about a 14 now, but a little shorter than yours. I put on weight during the summer cooking for Carman (130) so I am dieting now & will try to get down to about 115 again.

You also asked me once about the authoress whose books I used to get you – she is D.E. Stevenson. You also took told me about Frank Dobie’s “A Texan in England” – I read it in Cambridge long ago – before I even went to Toledo – & enjoyed it. I hope “Maclean’s” continues to come & doesn’t annoy you as much as it did pre-Coronation! Carman got Cec “The Saturday Evening Post” for his birthday, so it comes every week now without Cec having to go to the corner for it. 

This is now Tues. 13th Oct. & I have been writing this letter off & on for weeks. This past Monday was Thanksgiving Day & Cec had a holiday & I planned to write & do so much & in the end did nothing. Poor little Charlie got such a bad cold last week, all in his chest & nose & such a runny little wet bundle you never saw. He felt miserable to begin with, but by the weekend he was feeling quite cheery tho’ drippy & today seems much better – however Sat. & Sun. I felt sore-throaty & heavy headed & on Sun. Cec got it & yesterday & today has been sneezing & coughing & having such a time. So far Linda has been o.k. & we all seem to be on the mend, thank goodness.

We had roast chicken etc. & then mince pie for Thanksgiving Dinner – Lindy ate a bit of chicken & then plate after plate of plain mashed potatoes! Her diet is extraordinary just now – one night she ate nothing but green beans for dinner- another she’ll eat just meat- over about 1 week she gets a balanced diet!! After the very hot weather she ate very poorly for a week or more- would have nothing but milk & mushroom soup! She is so funny – one night she was fussing & wouldn’t have gravy on her potatoes but had it separately & ate it with great enthusiasm then turned to Cec & said in a conversational voice “This is lovely!” She was telling Charlie today “I’m going to school, Charlie” & told me one day that she was going to get married. She has discovered “mother” & “father” instead of Mummy & Daddy & also Cec & Cyn & uses them with a little grin! When Cec was busy one day she turned to me & asked “What is that gentleman doing?”!! She is used to seeing the picture of you holding an orange on a tree- (that P.V. took, I think) I have it in my scrapbook which she loves looking at (Yes – hold your breath- I am nearly up to date with my scrapbook – the one you gave me is full) & the other day I got out the framed picture of you now that we have 2 chests of drawers in our room again. Linda looked at it & I said “Who is that Lindy?“ & she said “That’s my Grannie” – then “Grannie not got an orange there?”! We’ve been talking about trains etc. since Carman went home & now she says “When I’m a bigger girl I’m going on a big train & a big ship to see my Grannie”. I try to tell her about your pussy etc. but it is most difficult. 

Me:- Grannie says her pussy jumped up on her bed & bit right through the handle of her bag.

Linda: – Which bed? 

Me: – Grannie’s bed. 

Lindy: – Which bag? 

Me: – Granny’s hand bag. 

Lindy: – Where’s pussy’s mummy? Etc. Etc.!

She has a definite mind of her own & is so funny- sometimes she is playing with her lunch or sitting on the potty & enjoying herself & I try & hurry her up & she will say “Mummy go away. I not need you here”!

Charlie has just learned to wave his hand “bye-bye” – he will be 10 mths. next week, so is still not quite as old as Linda when you left. It is very difficult to compare them – in some ways they are so different. For instance he plays with toys very well – turns the wheels of Lindy’s wagon or tricycle if he gets the chance- tries to pull things etc. – but of course there are lots of toys around now & when Lindy was tiny there weren’t. On the other hand Charlie doesn’t bother so much with books & pictures etc. but with Lindy there were 3 of us to show her things, whereas I don’t think Cec or I have ever gone through a mag. or book with him – partly time & partly he is so active & hates to sit still. Remember how frantic it was to get Lindy’s diapers changed? Well – he is just as bad!

Cec says the water is boiling, so I must go & have my bath! 

Lots & lots of love from us all 

                                                Cyn.

XX from Lindy & Charlie.

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