February 1 1954

                                    Mon. Feb 1st. 1954

Dearest Mummy,
Here I am at last to write that lallapalooza I keep talking about! You’re always so worried about this word lallapalooza & what it means – I’m sure you must have heard me use it a hundred times- just a real big whopper that’s all! I am feeling lots better now – I am still a bit yellow but the last 2 days the nausea has just about gone & I am eating fairly normally although no ravenous appetite as yet. The Fat Free diet isn’t bad except that eggs are out & of course anything made with fat. I get lots of fruit & juice & lovely lovely skim milk!
I had a wonderful surprise yesterday afternoon – there was a knock at the door & in walked Cec in a white hospital gown about 10 sizes too small for him! Apparently they have decided to let him in once a week, but it was so nice seeing him & getting all the news, although he had written me a nice long letter during the week & told me all about the babies. They seem to be getting on fine- Claire came in Wed. Thurs. & Fri. of last week & will come in all this week except Tues. so Cec can go into the Lab & not miss any time. The children are very good with her, Cec says & of course he gives them their breakfast & is home at 5 for their dinners. When he came yesterday Alec & little Nancy Douglas had gone up to sit with them (they were asleep when Cec left) but as Linda loves Nancy I don’t think there would be any fuss – & afterwards they were all going down to have dinner with the Douglases. Dr. K. hasn’t been in to see me the last couple of days (he told me he had a confinement due) but when he comes I want to ask him how long I’ll be here – it will be a week tomorrow since I came in & 2 weeks since I took sick. As usual Cec has heard of all sorts of people who have had jaundice & how long they were ill etc. so we feel lucky Dr. K. caught it so early with me. On Dr. K.’s advice Cec called Dr. Whillans about the babies & the risk of infection & he said to bring them over & he gave them each a shot of gamma globulin – it doesn’t prevent it but makes the attack very slight if they get it, so that is a relief. Cec sent me in a huge bundle of books & mags. last week so I have some thing to keep me going- also the Forsyths sent me a lovely big bunch of gladiolas and Mrs. Herzberg some beautiful red carnations – wasn’t that nice of them? I am trying to get all my Christmas letters written too but writing in bed is kind of awkward so I haven’t got them all done yet-4 to go I think.
Now at last to tell you a bit about our Christmas doings – although Christmas seems so far away now. To begin with little Charlie’s birthday which was the Sat. before Christmas. Of course he didn’t care, the little lamb, but we told Linda about it & she & I went to Dube’s during the week & got him cards and a present from her – the Kitten Wheel which he got triplicated at Christmas! It was Cec’s morning in bed, so we waited & had Charlie’s birthday after Daddy had his breakfast. We all gave him cards & besides Linda’s kitten wheel there was your book. Cec & I gave him “useful” things – a nice blue & white long sleeved T-shirt, a feeding bowl with compartments like Lindy’s, and a pair of red mittens with appliquéd snowman on. He took them all in his stride of course, but the funny thing was that he seem to know at once that the things were his & when Lindy went to take anything he made a grab & hung on! They’re pretty good about toys though & will give things to each other very nicely, but once in a while there is a tug- of-war & a battle! We went out & got the Christmas tree that afternoon so although I had made Charlie’s cake I hadn’t time to ice it & so I left it until the next day. Then on Sunday just as we were going to have tea with Charlie’s lovely blue & white cake with one candle who should arrive but Boris with a lovely big red truck for Charlie! He hadn’t been able to come over on the Sat. so just dropped in on the Sun. & it was so nice we had the cake & tea all ready.
On Monday morning Cec stayed home from work & we took the children down to Freiman’s to see Santa Claus! I can’t say it was a huge success as Charlie seemed very tired before we hardly got there, but the Santa was very nice & when I took Lindy up talked to her nicely. She had been saying for weeks that she was going to ask Santa for a carriage to put dolly in, but of course she didn’t say a word & I had to tell him, but afterwards she was talking about what Santa Claus had said!
I thought I done pretty well & had very little to do that last week, but golly – those few little things to make for the carriage & the doll & fixing the tree & so on & putting the cards on the bannisters seemed to take so long that every minute was taken. Cec came home early one afternoon & I went down town & shopped for a few last minute oddments for the children’s stockings & so on. On Christmas Eve Cec had a 1/2 day which was nice. I had planned to get all the Christmas dinner ready, but of course didn’t! However I got some things ready – my menu was- Cranberry Juice Cocktail, Roast Turkey, Stuffing, Gravy, French Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce, Relish dish (celery, radishes, olives, pickles, etc.), Orange Cream, Coffee. I made the cranberry juice & cranberry sauce & the orange cream – I decided to have the cream instead of Christmas pudding as I knew the children wouldn’t eat it & none of us are madly keen & I had planned to make a mince pie & have it hot with hard sauce & coffee around 10, but actually I never got it done & we were all stuffed anyway! Talking of stuffing I had planned to get the turkey all done of course but didn’t have a moment so I left it till the day- it was 13 lbs. & just a nice size. We put the children to bed and hung up stockings for them, but Linda really didn’t know what it was about & wasn’t excited which was just as well as they went to sleep nicely! Cec & I put all the presents under the tree & wrapped up ours & filled the stockings etc. Phyl & Alec were having “Open House” from 8:30 on & had asked us down. Dan of course had been invited too & we thought maybe when he’d been we could pop down for a minute, but oh no! – he was down on the dot of 8:30 & stayed till about 1:30 when everyone else had left – an old trick of his we’ve noticed before! So Cec went down for about 1/2 an hour & then when he came back I went down for a little – I took Phyl a jar of “our” mincemeat by the way & the raves & compliments I’ve had about it since! The nicest mincemeat they’ve ever tasted etc. Lucille & I swapped a jar to try each others (hers is the sweet kind) & Cec thinks ours is by far the nicer, so it has been a big success. After being at the Douglas’s I got ready & went over to St Margaret’s for 11:30 Service- it was just crowded to the doors, but I got in right at the back & a boy gave me a chair. It was very nice & so many people – even some in the Church Hall.
On Christmas morning the children didn’t wake up till 8:30 & we were glad after our late night- I must tell you though, when Cec sneaked into the children’s room to substitute the full stockings for the empty ones Lindy woke up & said “what’s that?” We just said “nothing” & she went to sleep again, but Cec said he was going to have to brush up on his Santa Claus technique! We took them & their stockings into our bed & they looked at their toys & Lindy licked a few of her candies but really they weren’t very interested! So we took them downstairs & had breakfast – dear Dan joining us! – & and then went into the sitting room with the tree & the presents! Lindy was at once taken up with her doll’s carriage – I don’t think she really would have cared if she hadn’t got anything else – she just loved it. The doll’s house doesn’t intrigue her 1/2 as much as I thought it would & she doesn’t play with it very much, but Charlie is rather fond of it & often sits & takes all the furniture out & then puts it back again or else carefully brings each piece over & gives it to you! Lindy handed out the presents & I sat & made a list on the spot of what was from who! Dan was in on all this & we had got him a shaving brush from Lindy & shaving soap from Charlie (we knew he had only about 2 bristles in his old brush!) so we felt we did our duty. All this time we had no idea if he had anywhere to go for Christmas dinner so we decided that if he said nothing & stuck around we just tell him we were having dinner at 5 & assume he was coming. However, he informed us during the morning that Shoosmith was coming at 12:00 to take him on a round of drinks & that 2 fellows from the Lab. were coming for him later to take him out to Christmas dinner, so were we relieved! I then set out to cope with my neglected turkey, but the children seemed tired & a bit cross, so I fed them & we put them to bed & I started in again- now nearly 1:00 when the 2 fellows from the Lab arrived to take Dan out to dinner. Cec got them a drink (in the meanwhile, thank goodness we had cleared up the mess in the sitting room & cleaned it) & I went in & was sociable for a little while. Then just left them & returned to my poor old turkey when in arrived Shoosmith & his son John (18) & another man from the lab! All very merry & full of Christmas cheer – not come to take Dan out for a drink at all, but to come in for a drink! So there I was again! In the end I took all the bread etc. into the sitting room & sat & made my stuffing with 7 men all making merry around me & of course the poor old bird was hours late getting in the oven! That’ll learn me to get it stuffed on Christmas Eve next time!! The children woke up at 3:30 & I just had time to dress them up prettily before the Ganders came. Lindy had on the pretty little pale blue georgette dress trimmed with white lace that Mary Egan sent her & a blue bow in her hair & she looked so sweet. Charlie had on his pale blue & white Viyella rompers that I got him from England & you couldn’t have seen two prettier little children anywhere I’m sure! Dinner of course wasn’t ready anywhere near 5, but I had canapés & Cec made drinks & we gave the children juice & crackers & they were fine. Lindy & Barry played away & had a grand time & Charlie was full of fun & chuckles. I had fixed up Linda’s little table for her & Barry & they were greatly taken with a pretty paper tablecloth & Santa Claus paper napkins – our table I had decorated with candles & our aluminum fruit bowl piled with little presents with a red ribbon to each place & glass Christmas tree balls. We were all so hungrey that everything tasted wonderful & we all ate enormously! Barry had a drumstick & Lindy a thigh & they tucked into them at a great rate. The drumstick just about finished Barry but Lindy had potatoes & jello & banana! Afterwards they played a little & we put them all to bed very sweet & happy & good. Jim & Lee & Cec & I just sort of sat around & talked & then Cec took them home around 10:30.

We didn’t really have many holiday frivolities to tell you about. Cy & Margie asked us over to a late dinner on the Sun. after Christmas & we had a nice quiet time the 4 of us. Cec & I had debated about having a party sometime, as we thought it would be probably our last chance as our next abode won’t be likely to have such a nice big sitting room, but we decided instead to have two evenings with about 6 people each evening. We went to quite a lot of pains not to have all Lab. or all Sask. people together, but in the end Lu got some kind of breast infection (she was just weaning the baby) & they couldn’t come, so by the time we juggled around they weren’t so well assorted, but it couldn’t be helped. On the Tues. after Christmas we had Mr. & Mrs. Hughes (from next door) Dr. & Mrs. Calaman (he is an English fellow & his wife is Swiss) from the Lab., & Chris (the Danish fellow) & Kevin (a fellow from Dublin) also from the Lab. We had drinks & chip dip (potato chips to dip into soft onion-flavoured cream cheese- everyone loves it) & we played “Rumoli”. It is a nice easy kind of gambling game that we played with poker chips & it was really a grand idea as everyone enjoyed it & it is very easy to learn & no skill involved! For supper we had lobster tartlets (hot) & toasted turkey sandwiches, olives rolled in bacon & grilled, & stuffed celery & radishes etc. – afterwards hot mince pie or fresh fruit salad & coffee of course. Everyone seem to enjoy it, & Cec & I congratulated ourselves particularly on the Rumoli because during supper & after Mr. Hughes quite got into form & monopolized the conversation with tall tales about his early days in Canada etc. & no one else could get a word in! Just at the end it didn’t matter but if we’d had no game & he’d begun earlier it would have rather cramped the evening!
On New Year’s Eve Cec & I just decided we weren’t going to bother trying to make any plans – it is so difficult to get sitters etc. so we just sat at home & had a nice little Celebration together – nothing like your gay time!! On the Sat. after we had Cy & Margie over & Stuart & Willa Woods – they are from Sask. and he works in at the Council- he came to dinner with us once at Ethel Street you may remember. We did pretty much the same, played Rumoli & so on & had fun. This time we had cocktail sausages on sticks, mushroom tartlets & sardine rolls & I made little “Petit Fours” with 1954 on & had those with Christmas cake.

I forgot to tell you that we went to the Gander’s for a turkey dinner on New Year’s Day. Jim had won a turkey at bowling, so although I felt it was a lot for Lee she insisted that we should come. We went about 4:30 & had a very nice dinner at 6. Afterwards we put the children’s pyjamas on & bedded them down in Jim & Lee’s bed – this was Charlie’s first experience of a bed & he thought nothing of it, but he was so tired he soon went to sleep. We had a nice game of bridge & at about 10:30 Charlie rolled onto Linda’s side of the bed & they both woke, so we popped on their snowsuits & they were full of fun & enjoyed the trip home!
I think that is the sum total of our holiday doings, but we did have one other funny evening. It was about the 2nd Sunday after New Year’s & we thought we’d try out my new Meat Thermometer so I got a nice sirloin of beef & when I had the dinner all cooking I said to Cec, “You know, this is such a lovely big dinner we should have someone to share it” so we called up Chris & he said he’d love to come & Dan came in from skiing & in the bigness of our hearts we asked him too! The dinner was grand – roast beef (done to a turn!) roast potatoes, cauliflower, Yorkshire pudding, pickles etc. & then small mince pies & Christmas cake with coffee. We put the children to bed & washed the dishes & then thought we might play bridge – and I got Dan as a partner! He was terrible! Screamed with joy if he got a good hand; howled & moaned if he got a bad one & then bid on it; overbid me on every occasion so that all night I played 2 hands- one in which he left me in a 2nd bid & one of which he put me up to 5 clubs without a card in his hand! When he didn’t get the bid he didn’t pay any attention to the playing & just threw cards away, so you can imagine what an evening it was— we always end our kind impulses to him by loathing him more than ever!
It is now Thurs. 4th Feb. so I’ll stop this now & mail it before it gets too huge. I feel fine now but Dr. K. says I must be in 3 weeks still. The days are so long with nothing to do, but at least just about half the time is over.
I will be writing again soon – hope you can read all the scribble.
With lots of love & kisses from
Cyn.

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