May 5-31 1954

Box 330.
May 5th.

Dearest Mummy,
My big pad of A.M. seems to be done, so will have to do with little pages, but thought I would begin & answer some of your letters. I have just finished a letter to you, but filled it full of Costain chatter, so didn’t do much answering.
Your letter of 17th told about going to Church at Belair & the little black girl who was so good. There were quite a lot of children at church on Easter Day here – none as small as Linda though, but I was thinking I would hate to have to try & keep her quiet & good all through a service! I think in the fall, when she is 3, I will ask about Sunday School at Saint Margaret’s. They have such a sensible system over here of having Sunday School for the children during the morning service, & they have special classes for tiny children, so I think I might see how Linda likes it. Barry goes & loves it & so does little Leslie Forsyth & the Garrett boys so I think she should. It doesn’t take me long to drive to Saint Margaret’s & it is still the nearest Anglican Church, so I am pleased as I like it & Mr. Stewart too.

I was glad to hear that the news was good about A. Mil & Patsy, but I am amazed that they should get such a thing, when it seems so compulsory nowadays to have vaccinations – particularly having travelling to & from different countries. [This seems to refer to the fairly illegible Postscript about smallpox in a previous Airmail letter.] I hope the little boy doesn’t get it & that they will soon be all right. I was so glad to hear that Jeanie seems to be back on the straight & narrow again & that the Dr. affair seems to be over. She may pity me for having such a lot to do at times, but I certainly pity her for not having enough to do, which I am sure must be at the root of so many of these flirtations. They are so pointless & yet can make so many people miserable that I hope Jeanie keeps clear.
Cec & I were most shattered at your description of the Mannequin Parade & the prices paid for the dresses! What a lot of money people must have! It must have been great fun to watch though & the dresses sound lovely. Did Hazell Ann look pretty in her $24 evening dress & was she very thrilled about it all?
Talking of dresses, Boris’ wedding is on 15th so on Sat. I am to go to town & buy a dress & hat for it – delayed birthday present! I think I will get a fairly plain dress – I had thought of navy or something like that – but a really frivolous hat- red or pink or something! It is so long since I bought a silly hat! We got his wedding present from Harrod’s – a tray just like the one Maud gave me except a size smaller. We got pale green & instead of the flowers, a hunting scene & it is really very pretty. I got one of the little Harrods catalogues the other day & have sent for a dress from it- from their “Budget Dress Dept.”! It is a silk print with 3/4 sleeves & looks pretty but I’ll have to wait & see! I also wrote to Gorray a little while ago so I’m anxiously awaiting their reply!
In your letter after you heard of our new house you ask how far out it is – well it is just 1/2 mile outside the city, but about 1 1/2 – 2 miles from Saint Margaret’s I think. Cec drives to work in about 15 min. so it isn’t really far you see. There is another NRC man living near by- a Swiss called Blachut, & he & Cec are going to share the driving if they can arrange it which will be nice. It will save money a bit & also mean that on certain days the children & I can use the car which will be fun. Charlie particularly loves the car – he sits in the car seat in the front now & if I’m driving Linda sits in the middle- if Cec is driving she & I usually sit behind. You ask if we have to collect our letters but no – we have a mailbox at the side of the road. Do you remember seeing this type of thing along the roads? The mailman drives around every afternoon & pops the mail in & takes any of ours to be posted. One big difficulty in not having a proper number & street address is to describe to friends & tradespeople how to get here! Mr. Scott had his name painted on a board on the house, but we thought the name was rather ostentatious, so Cec has had made a very neat sign C.C.C. ! It is black initials on white & the house is white with black paint, so it really looks nice. We got the phone in about 10 days which is a blessing. Joanise deliver out here twice a week & Eatons & Simpsons too, so I am able to do a lot of my ordering by phone. I just sent off 3 birthday presents I got from Eatons – pr. of navy nylon gloves with white spots for Nan (she sent me an apron & Dottie a yellow silk square) – a red necklace for Anne – & a very belated pr. of pink nylon spotted panties for Ruth! Very risqué for the curate’s wife! Actually I am wondering whether I should have bothered about the latter as they just sent me a card, but I had written at the time that I would send a present when I was well, so I felt I should. However, they seem to be concentrating on the children now, so maybe I can cut out Ruth! In the snaps Amy sent, Cec was horrified at Ruth- thought she looked so fat & sloppy! I didn’t think she looked at all bad but we both thought Amy & Charlie had aged so much- Amy particularly looks fatter & kind of flabby I think. I guess we think we stay the same – they probably say just the same about me!!

The Haynes family- Ruth looks very happy!

You will be glad (as we are!) to hear that Dan + wife are moving at the end of the month to a furnished house leased for the summer! I didn’t see their apt. but apparently it is very crummy ($95 a month) & a most disagreeable landlord so they are moving & we don’t mind a bit- I see very little of them, but poor Cec has the pleasure of giving Dan a ride each day again. He talks about buying petrol someday!
You ask about our entrance – well the house is really on about the same level as the Ethel St. house was, but our apt. there is the basement here with windows at ground level. So when you come in the front door you go down some steps to the basement & up some stairs to the “house proper”. All that waste space above just seems to be ceiling – I don’t know why! There are ceiling lights in all the rooms except the end of the sitting room. The kitchen & bathroom have those great long tube lights that give daylight lighting which is wonderful – such a nice change to see in the kitchen! I am busy ripping & making over the sitting room curtains for the big picture windows. I have three widths in each of the 2 curtains, so I am separating them & making 6 curtains. Margie says I can use her machine, but I still have to tack them. When they are up I think we might change the furniture a bit & put the desk by the windows at the other end & bring the smaller sofa over in its place as the big windows are so pleasant in the summer, but at the moment with no curtains up it is a bit naked! We have the armchair we bought at Ethel Street there at the moment & a box Cec made for the children to stand on & they are up & down at that window all the time.

The chair was in Dan’s room & had some hard wear so I will have to try & re-cover it. One day last week I was busy in the kitchen & Charlie kept marching solemnly in – opening the cupboard under the sink – putting something in the garbage can & then marching out again, & so on! He was so busy & pleased with himself I left him to it & only discovered afterwards that it was fluff from the arm of the chair that he was pulling out of a hole & then taking to the garbage! There is now a big bare gaping hole in one arm!!
The oil furnace is wonderful – it is hot air like the Richer’s, but the registers are at ground level here & we have a thermostat & thermometer & can regulate it as we like, so it is much better. We have no fireplace, but in a house like this you don’t really miss one so much.

Mon. 31st May.
This letter is nearly a month old & I have kept thinking I will add to it, but now I think I had better send it off & begin all over again or I will never get it away. We have been busy as the weekend before last was a holiday (Queen’s b’day on the Mon.) & we asked Chris (the Danish Fellow) to come for the weekend. We like him so much & as he & Boris were in digs together we thought he might be a little lonesome. We had such a nice time as he is a grand guest & so good with the children & kitten!

We had Lu & Pete out on the Sat. evening & on the Mon. a Prof. & Mrs. Lausett (Danish – over for 4 mths.) to tea & all had such a good time that we asked them to stay on to supper, so it was fun. They are older, but reminded us of Gordon & Gunborg, so interested & full of fun. Last week seemed very short though & I never got caught up with washing etc. so hence my not getting this letter finished. This weekend we had 2 rainy days but today is nice thank goodness. Will write again very soon & send this off now. Kisses from the babies – Linda is growing tall!
Lots of love from us all,

Grannie was clearly giving the Canadian stamps to a collector!

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