June 25 1954

Cec’s birthday in Columbus at the Spectroscopy Conference.

25th June. 1954.

Dearest Mummy,

I said I would write you a great long letter while Cec was away & here it is, he’s been & come back & been home a week & I still haven’t written! Actually I was kept busy while he was away & we gallivanted off in the car, so I really didn’t have much time & since he came back I’ve had to catch up on all the work I didn’t do while he was gone!

Thank you so much for your letter mailed 14th – I got it last Sat. (19) so the mails are being really good now. Cec got your birthday letter before he left & was so pleased with the pictures. I have been scolding him for not taking more – there has been a film in the camera for months & months & it just doesn’t ever seem to get finished- last Sat. I persuaded Cec to get the camera out & then Charlie began acting up & crying & fussing to go in the car until Cec got so disgusted with him that he just put it all away again! However I hope we will get them soon.

A happier car occasion!

It is so nice to have Cec home again & Columbus was terribly hot & steamy so he was doubly glad to get back! He enjoyed it though & as all the Michigan crowd were there he renewed a lot of old acquaintances & of course among the others, saw Gordon. There has been talk & vague rumours about him coming up here all year, but nothing definite till just lately so I didn’t mention it. Now, the idea is that they will all come to Ottawa for 2 days in Aug. on their way home from holidaying at Cape Cod, so that Gordon can see Dr. Herzberg & plan for a future longer visit. I have written & told Gunborg we want them to stay with us (could put the double couch thing with the single bed in the spare room for the girls – us on the sofa & G & G in our room) but have heard no more. It will be such fun to see them again & can hardly imagine how big the girls will be– Anne has graduated, so is going to England for a year at the Perse School in Cambridge where she was before & will stay with her Aunt.
To return to our doings – we all drove Cec to the airport on the Sunday afternoon & Phyl & family were there to see Alec off & Joan to see Boris off & various other families, so there was quite a group – oh & dear Dan – but no Lyn thank goodness! We saw them all away- Charlie’s word for plane is “woo-woo” & “Dada woo-woo” was very exciting!! Cec got a seat at a window & waved to them, so they got a good look & were thrilled, but didn’t much care for the noise of the take off! The day before was a big Air Force Day & Rockcliffe Airport is just behind us so Cec & Charlie sat on the little back porch & watched planes all afternoon! Cec thought it was such fun to have a son who enjoys the same things he does!! Linda didn’t much care for the noise of the breaking of the sound barrier which we’d heard at the rehearsal the day before (shook the house!) so she stuck to me inside mostly!
After the Daddys had gone we went back to the Douglas’ & had a cool drink for a little while & then came home. On Monday – rainy, dreary day – we went to town. The weather has been so weird – as soon as we get a nice day there are violent thunderstorms & the rainy days & then the whole thing over again. We parked the car at Friemans & had apple juice there, then went to the market & got 6 tomato plants & some seeds & then to Woolworths. It was a great success & I was surprised at Charlie- I thought he would want “Up-up” all the time, but no, he toddled along & the only times I carried him were when I wanted to hurry – across roads etc. Unfortunately we had one mishap- when the car arrived for us to go home I lifted Charlie into his chair & George, the doorman, lifted Linda in! Well – she has this mania against strange people lifting her & she screamed & kicked & yelled & nothing I did would quiet her, and she kicked & yelled most of the way home, which was a pity as we had such a good time otherwise.
On Tuesday we drove across to see Lee & Barry & what do you know- Lee is pregnant again! Poor girl – she is feeling pretty rotten & looked awful, but she insisted that we come as we hadn’t seen them for so long. Jim was there as he stayed to do the washing, but he left soon & instead of coffee or anything Lee got an early sandwich lunch & then we left about 1- got there at 10:45. The next day we went to tea with Esther Calaman & the baby – she was so lonesome as John was away too & it was their first parting! Then the next day we went for groceries to a Loblaw’s store and they have wee carts for children as well as the big ones for mummies so Linda was very thrilled! I gardened quite a bit while Cec was away- weeding & planting seeds – & on Wed. evening Mrs. Rothwell had a bridge party for me! As I couldn’t go out, she & her guests came to me & she brought a basket with china, food, coffee & all – wasn’t it sweet of her!? Becky, her daughter-in-law, was there & a girl Flora, young married from down the road & we played the silliest chatty bridge, but it was funny! They are all old Ottawa families, so the conversation was very “Do you remember so-&-so” & “How is so-&-so” but it was fun anyway.

Cec was to arrive home at about 3 a.m. Friday, but the plane was grounded in Toronto for bad weather so they came on by train from there which was better really as they had berths & slept & didn’t arrive till breakfast. The children were so thrilled to see him- Charlie all over him at once – Linda quite standoffish for an hour or so, then climbed onto his knee & kissed & kissed him!!
Sat. we celebrated as his birthday & Sun. was Father’s Day, so Cec had a really pampered weekend! Chocolate birthday cake & roast chicken & strawberries & a pair of bathing trunks & books!
The children are awake so I must finish & dash to post this. It is a lovely hot day & I have their paddling pool out. Cec has made them a beautiful big sandbox in the back & they are in luxury! I have begun a “letter answering” letter, but will send it by sea & answer all your questions!
Lots & lots of love from us all –

I’m pretty sure Cyn held our hands!

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