249 Cedar Road,
Ottawa 9, Ontario.
5th March, 1969
I had planned that I would write to you today, after I did the ironing, and then the postman brought your letter to Lindy and me, enclosing the Carnival pictures. Lindy will be delighted to see them, and I think that they are gorgeous – I would love to see them in colour. Thank you so much for your letter – in fact 2 letters, because I got a nice big fat one last week. I am sorry that I didn’t write last week, but I knew that Lindy had and I had a busy time as Cec has been working at home, doing some writing as he finds that there are so many interruptions in his office he can’t get on. Also, Charlie was home for 3 days with – we presume – some type of flu. He said on Sunday morning that his ribs were aching, but as he had been skating and then swimming on Friday evening I just thought he was stiff! Then after Church he just lay down on his bed and fell asleep and when he woke up he was all flushed and had a temperature. He went to bed but didn’t seem to feel sick and he ate well, and then next morning his temperature was gone and he said that he felt fine and he was going to school. When he came home he looked OK and said he felt all right, and then after dinner he began to get that look again, and lo! he had a temp of 102. So this time I put him to bed and kept him there till Thursday, and all he had was the temperature in the evening, and he slept quite a bit, but otherwise felt fine and ate only a little bit less than usual! None of the rest of us have had it, but the week previous Lindy and I had colds, but they only lasted a few days. Anyway, with having both men home last week, I was busy making lunches and elevenses etc. and didn’t get much else done, besides the usual!
Before I forget, I am enclosing the Iron-on Mending stuff you wanted for the dress the puppy tore. I think that it should be all right, and if you have none of the same material to use as a patch on the wrong side, you could use any kind of thin material, I think. I hope it works well. Also, thank you for the cheque – I will get the Zenith man to send the batteries and cord next week, and I’ll get the sockettes when I go shopping. Tell Patsy that I will get the book and send it to England for her – energetic her! Cec and I have BOTH gone on a diet as we were both ashamed of ourselves – he was a Big Fat Tub, and I was a Little Fat Tub! We began a week ago on Monday and we have both lost 5 pounds – it is much nicer for me to have company on my diet, and when both of us are doing it, I can plan meals much better. The kids aren’t doing so well in cakes and cookies etc. but a little rest from those won’t do any harm. Maybe by the time you come I won’t be so podgy.
The week before last I had a really gay time – on the Monday there was a Scientist’s Wives meeting and I was looking after the refreshments as usual, but it was a Geography Professor from Ottawa University telling about a visit he made to east Africa with colour pictures, and he was very interesting. The next night we went down and played bridge with Marjorie and Dick and Mr. Graham, and then on the Wed. night we went to the Canadian Association of Physicists Banquet. Linda and Charlie had holiday that day as there was a Teacher’s Meeting, so I took Charlie shopping in the morning (more new pants – he grows out of a pair a month I’m sure!)
Then in the afternoon we went to the movies to see Barbra Streisand in ‘Funny Girl’, the story of Fanny Brice. It was very good and nice songs and music, but my cold was all snuffly, and by the time I dashed home and got dinner for L and C and showered and changed and dashed to the Banquet I was exhausted!
We had another invitation on the Friday to the apartment of Cec’s German Post Doctorate Fellow, Gisber and his wife, Helga. They are a very nice young couple with a little boy of 2, and have been in the U.S. for 2 or 3 years, so they are completely fluent. Linda babysits for them as they don’t live too far away, and they invited Cec and me to come and share a very nice bottle of German wine with them and we had a nice evening, drinking wine and looking at some of their pictures. So Nice!!
Last week and again this week, I have been teaching at the Nursery School – once for Gertrude who wasn’t well, and once Mrs. Bennett had to stay home as her little boy was sick. It is fun to go and see the children every now and then, and I get big hugs and welcomes from them. We have been having a wild time interviewing teachers for jobs at the Nursery School in the Fall. We are going to open full-time, both morning and afternoon so we advertised for 3 new teachers and had about 60 replies! That would be fine but of all of those, only 2 had any Nursery School training and obviously most of them had no idea what a Nursery School was – jobs must be very scarce because we had both men and women with all sorts of degrees and experience applying, and I suppose they just write to everything. We had 2 afternoons interviewing people, and have now got ourselves organized for the Fall which is a relief. Mrs. Kunce, who was our Director last year – a nice girl of about 36, is very ill with thyroid trouble. She has had hospital treatment, but will have to have an operation, and they say she is so thin and looks dreadful, poor girl.
A few weeks ago we had a party at the Church, a Square Dance etc. and we invited the people of the United Church to come, and there was a couple there whom I had been meaning to tell you about ever since I met them before Christmas. I don’t think I told you, but if you have heard all this before, please excuse me! They are called Hutchinson, and lived in Montreal and have now retired here, so they are in their 60s I imagine. He comes originally from Barbados and has a brother who is still there, Cyril Hutchinson, who used to be friends with our Hutchinson cousins, I believe. His parents died when he was a little boy in Canada, and I think Aunts in the West Indies brought him up, and he has cousins in St. Vincent, the Nantons! I said, “Oh, yes, Ruby lives next door to my Mother and Aunt”, but he didn’t seem to be sure of Ruby, but mention Estralita, whom I have vaguely heard you talk about I think. Anyway, isn’t that interesting? They went on a West Indian cruise around Christmas time, but not as far south this time – apparently, they did one to Barbados etc. a little while ago. They are a nice couple and we are only sorry that they have gone to the United Church, and not to us, especially as he is a wonderful carpenter I believe and is making them all sorts of things! When you come, I must have them over to meet you, and you can get all the relatives straightened out!
I am glad that you have sent to get your visa and passport all ready – I think that the middle of May will be fine, and don’t worry about the flight – we will be in Montreal to meet you and you won’t have to change or anything. A Friday would be quite all right with us, but I just wondered if it might be less crowded in the middle of the week, but when you go for your ticket they would be able to tell you. We could come and get you any day, so book your flight for the most convenient time for you. I was just thinking of the weather in May and hoping that it would be nice, and that reminds me of you commiserating with us about the great snow storms – actually we have been having beautiful weather! Bright and sunny and quite mild for this time, and we have been wonderfully fortunate this winter as we have missed about three huge snow storms, all of which hit Montreal and they have been digging out while we have had just enough to please the skiers and not enough to bother the rest of us! We were horrified to hear of Hugh and Ginny and the little girls being stranded in Kennedy Airport – we read all about it of course, but never imagined anyone we knew would be there. I laughed and said to Cec, St. V. may not have a daily newspaper, but you and A. Muriel get all the inside stories in your letters, when you told me about that and Monica at Sir G.W. University in Montreal. Everyone was mad about the latter – students, they call them – in their late 20s and 30s, and some of them not even at the University. As for the charges of discrimination against the coloured students who said this professor wasn’t marking them fairly, the papers were sent to an outside examiner to be marked after this allegation, and they were just the same. Nobody in Montreal feels very lenient towards them now, thats certain.
I must stop now and get the dinner on – a nice low-calorie meal! Yesterday I was down in the market, and thought ‘Poor Cec, he should have a treat to encourage him in his diet,’ so I bought him a lobster! They are very low in calories and he loves them, but I always consider them too expensive in the ordinary way. I got it ready boiled and split, so had no work, and I was quite happy to have something else, as I really like lobster hot in a cream sauce or some really fattening way like that! I had a luncheon party last Friday, with the ‘old crowd’ – Eve, Mrs. Barltrop, Marjorie, Ruth, Charmian and Gertrude. I had a shrimp casserole and a pilaf, and various salads, and then I made a Milanaise Soufflé and put it in my darling little individual soufflé dishes that Cec gave me for Christmas. Do you remember Milanaise Soufflé? It was one of my High Class Cookery recipes from Cookery College – a cold lemon soufflé, and everyone enjoyed it.
Much love to Auntie Muriel and Peggy and Patsy if she is still there and lots of love from all of us to you.