49 Cedar Road,
Ottawa 9, Ont.
27th Oct. 1968
Last night we put the clocks back, so it is really the beginning of winter. It must seem a long time ago since you were putting clocks back and forward and trying to remember when you get an extra hour’s sleep or lost one, but this time we got the extra hour which is nice. It will mean that it is very dark in the evening now, but in a way I prefer that to dark mornings, and we have been getting up in the dark for quite a few weeks now, so that won’t be so bad. I will appreciate it even more as I am going to teach at the Nursery School for 3 weeks starting tomorrow, and I would feel even less like trailing out at 8:30am if it were still dark. Joan Greenwell, who is taking my place has to do 3 weeks Practice Teaching at another Nursery sSchool, so I had promised to take her place while she was away. This is new, as when I took the Course at the University last year they did their Practice Teaching later on, but it is really a good idea as some of them haven’t got jobs and barely know what a Nursery School is like. I can’t say that I am looking forward to a daily job again, but at least it won’t be for long! I shall get paid my usual princely salary so I will have a little Mad Money for Christmas!
I haven’t written for about 2 weeks I think, and I have letters to thank you for – one was after you got my last long affair and you will think that wore me out! Actually we had a week of absolutely beautiful weather – 60° some days with lovely hot sun and cool nights, so I tried to go on with my gardening and tidy up the flower beds a bit. Then I seemed to be going out quite a bit and this last week I have had laryngitis! I had it about this time last year if you remember, and it is the queerest thing because I never remember having this type of thing much before. I began with a kind of a cold, but not in my head as I usually do, but just a real stuffed up nose. When I used nose drops I was fine and didn’t feel anything, then gradually it seemed to tighten up in my chest and last Tuesday my voice began to disappear, although I had no sore throat, and by the evening I could just whisper. It has lasted all week, and I got Pat to take my Sunday School this morning, but actually for the first time for days I can talk a bit although I am still croaky, and I now have a cough. All very peculiar, and it was the funniest thing, when the phone rang and I answered in a whisper, everyone whispered back at me!
I think that when I last wrote Carman was still with us – he stayed till the morning of Friday, 11th and so we were on our own for Thanksgiving weekend. He took us out to dinner one night to the Italian restaurant for dinner, which was nice and another evening we went out with Cec’s new P.D. fellow and his wife and his brother and his wife to the ‘Pub’ at the new big Hotel. The brother is another scientist – German – and the wife American. We didn’t have anyone with us for Thanksgiving dinner this year as Cec had a visitor coming to give a Seminar at the Lab and he was arriving early Mon. evening, so we thought if we had a party for him that would be enough for one weekend. We didn’t have many people – about a dozen, I think, and it was quite nice – chatty in a scientific way! That week Ruth Lockwood and I had a day out on the Thursday. Ruth had been babysitting for a family for weeks while the parents were in Europe, so she was ready for a break, and we decided to go and get our Gold Bond Stamps changed – do you remember all the stamps we get from the Grocery Store and stick into books and then exchange for presents? Well, now we have to go to a place on the other side of Ottawa and get our present, so it is quite an expedition. I had been saving for ages and finally decided to get an electric hairdryer. Everyone seems to have one and I must say that they are very convenient – Lindy and I have been using it like fury since I got it and she can dry her hair in about 20 minutes and half an hour is plenty for me, so we are appreciating it, even if it isn’t of much benefit to the boys! Ruth got a paper dispenser for her kitchen and then we went down town and shopped and then Ruth treated me to lunch, so we had a very nice time. That evening Cec and I were invited out to a buffet dinner at the Johns, so altogether I had a very frivolous day!
I had another lunch out last week – we have this big new Hotel in Ottawa called the Skyline, and in two of its restaurants you can get lunch for $1.25, and they also have a shopping plaza of boutiques under the hotel, so Phyl Douglas and Marion (Hin Lew’s wife) and I decided to see what it was like. The restaurant is called “Diamond Lil’s” and it is all Naughty Nineties with a curvy female singer in the evening but at noon, they serve a businessman’s lunch – roast beef, salads, bread, roast potatoes, gravy and coffee with apple pie extra, and it was very nice and we enjoyed it. It is a very Klondike Saloon type of interior with sawdust on the floor and quite a crowd, but it was fun and we had a good old gossip. Afterwards we went down to the boutiques and they were very nice but of course expensive. There was a dress shop and Marion was so happy to be shopping without 3 little boys round that she asked if we would mind if she shopped for a dress, and she tried on quite a lot – she looked wonderful in everything of course as she is slim as a wand and ended in getting a pretty red dress – she wanted another, but saw nothing else that she particularly liked. I told Cec he didn’t know how lucky he was as the dress she bought was 45 dollars and she didn’t even look at the price and was all set to buy another like it! Linda was horrified, so I am bringing her up in the right way!
That was the day my voice disappeared, but fortunately it didn’t go completely until the evening! Our Church Supper was on Friday and we had a very good turnout and a lovely buffet supper, but I couldn’t talk to a soul – just whisper when absolutely necessary! Afterwards we had a Magician for the children and adults and he was lovely – we all thoroughly enjoyed him! He even brought a white bunny out of a hat at the end! We have all been enjoying the Olympic games on the TV these last 2 weeks. This is the sort of thing which cancels out all my grumbles at TV, and every evening we had one or two hours from Mexico with both live and taped pictures of the games and it was really grand. Canada didn’t do too well – 1 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze, but this was 20th out of over 100 countries, so that doesn’t sound too bad as really Canada goes in more for the Winter Olympics. The US as usual did a big sweep and took hundreds of metals, but in one or two places little countries like Jamaica popped up and took a gold, and made it very exciting. Also we saw the latest US space flight with the 3 men and it is always a thrill. Of course we have the usual array of football hockey baseball etc. all of which mean a great deal to Charlie and Cec! You will be glad to hear that Ottawa’s football team is doing well this year – it makes a big difference in Charlie’s spirits, you know!
You were mentioning in your letter that you were worried about changing planes on your flight up here, and perhaps you would come straight to Montreal, and actually Cec and I have been talking about it and thinking the very same thing. It would be quite easy to get on the plane at Barbados and come right up here and we would meet you with the car in Montreal and you would have no changes at all, and the same when you go back or to New York. I think that it might be best for you to come in May as you did last time – the weather is not too cold then and it is very pretty in the spring and then stay with us for May, June and July and then if you were going to New York it might be nice for you to go down there in August. You would have the sea at Monie’s and probably go to camp at Mill’s. Cec goes to Australia in August and there is some talk of us going out to the West Coast with him on the first leg of his journey. Carman is always inviting us to visit them and the children and I have never been, so it might be a good opportunity, but of course we don’t know what L. and C. will be doing next summer so it is all very vague and might never come off.
I must fly as Lindy and I have to rush and buy her a pair of shoes and get her hair cut and I am picking her up at school at 3:30. Will write again soon and answer your letters properly,
Lots of love from us all,