June 4 1962

2043 Montreal Rd.
Ottawa 2, Ontario

Dearest Mummy,

I have been meaning to sit down at the typewriter and write you a good old screed for ages, but somehow there is always something cropping up that just has to be done. This morning I drove Cec to work as Fanni and Teddy are in Quebec, then I collected my washing and Margaret Savic, and we went over to the Coinwash and did our washing. I washed all the children’s winter jackets and leggings so feel pleased that those can go away for a while, and it is so much cheaper to wash them than to have them all cleaned. Now I have had my lunch and sorted out the clothes, but I decided to leave the ironing and write to you instead. I won’t have all that amount of time as I pick up the children at 3:30 and take them up to the Château for their Swimming lessons. I don’t know if I told you that I was letting Linda go too – she was so keen and although she didn’t need them as much as Charlie she still could do with some and they are both doing very well I think. Linda can swim across the pool doing the crawl on her front and she can do practically the whole length on her back, and Charlie can do the width on his back and over half on his front, so I am very pleased. The Swimming Instructor is very good and has them jumping in at the deep end, and Linda even jumps off the diving board, and they both swim in the deep end as well as the shallow and they are very proud of themselves. Michael is much more tense than either Linda or Charlie and although he tries very hard and splashes a lot he doesn’t really do so well, but he is getting more confidence too. This week he is having exams so he is not going, but he will probably have his next week when Linda and Charlie have their exams. Linda is very disgusted as they are having 2 HOUR long exams this year, and this seems like an eternity to her!

I am hoping that the children will get a lot of practice with their swimming this summer, but we still haven’t got anything definite settled. I have been waiting to know for certain before telling you but I might as well go ahead as we are no further forward! Cec decided earlier this year that he would like to do some work on some special equipment that his friend Peters has at the Physics Department at the University of Michigan, and Dr. Herzberg thought it would be a good thing so Cec wrote to Pete and he wrote back very enthusiastic and it was arranged that Cec would go for the month of July and that Pete would try to rent us a house or cottage fairly near to the University and also to a lake or swimming place for the children. Cec would work most of the time and perhaps take a week off at the end, and it would be nice for all of us, and also perhaps I would get to see Til and Lois as well as some of our Ann Arbor friends. Pete, by the way, is called Wilbur Peters, and he is the one who has a wife Mary Jo and they had two little girls when we were there – now have some boys too. Anyway, we still haven’t heard anything from Pete about a place to stay, but Cec is going down to the Spectroscopy Conference in Columbus, Ohio, next week and on the way he will spend the night in Ann Arbor and see Pete and find out what is happening. In the meanwhile as I told you, Bengt and Gudron Kleman and their two boys, Bjorn and Johann are coming to Ottawa for the summer, – they were here about 5 or 6 years ago from Sweden on a Fellowship, and we liked them so much, and then last year when Cec was in Europe he stayed with them in Stockholm and they were very kind to him, so we suggested that they live in our house while we are away in July. It would be nice for them to have a place to come to and it would be nice for us to have the house looked after, not forgetting someone to look after Nicotina! Bengt is here now staying at a hotel, and Gudron and the boys arrive at the end of this month so it would fit in very well.

Tuesday, 5th June.

I just got as far as that yesterday when the doorbell rang, and it was a lady asking me if I would take a little package for Mrs. Rothwell as she was out, and it turned out that the lady was Mrs. Dupuis, the wife of the Dr. who is now living in Ken’s old house. I think I mentioned that when I came out of hospital in the Fall she sent a whole dinner over one day, and how overwhelmed I was as I had never even met her, so of course I had to invite her in and we had quite a little chat. Her husband, the Dr. works at the St Louis Marie de Montfort Hospital down the road, and he is from Haiti. She is French-Canadian from Quebec and they have six children! They, of course go to the Catholic school so Linda and Charlie don’t see much of them but there is a boy around their age, Jean, and he has been over a few times. Mrs. Dupuis seem very nice and has quite an amusing sense of humour, so we had quite fun and a few good laughs together. She left just after three and I apologized for not keeping her to tea, but explained about the children’s lessons, and she said she couldn’t stay anyway but I must come down and see her. I had a great old scramble to wash the lunch dishes and be down at the school by 3:30, but I did it!

This always makes us late with dinner, as we pick up Cec around 5:30 and then I have to get dinner when I come home, but I wasn’t very ambitious and we had cold stuffed roast pork and salad and rolls, then for dessert I had some cupcakes and jam tarts, but by the time I get it and clear it away and wash up it is usually quite late. Then I did some ironing, and promised myself that I would get to this this morning. So first thing, I dashed over to Myrtle’s with Mrs. Dupuis’ cake (she wasn’t in till late) and of course had to sit and chat, then trotted back and did housework and was in the middle of vacuuming when in came Myrtle – she had locked herself out! I gave her all the keys I had but none of them fitted, so back she came and phoned Ben and we chatted some more, and finally saw Becky drive up and went out and found her front door has been wide open all the time! She had found the side door shut and had never looked at the front door! Anyway that rather interrupted my morning, and then Mr. Pulker phoned that he would drop up to see me this afternoon about the Guild meeting tonight so I rushed and finished cleaning, hastily defrosted the refrigerator, had a shower and set my hair in rollers, had some lunch, and I am now sitting typing ready to rush and tear out the rollers the minute I hear him coming! Actually I think I had better do it when the clock strikes 2, then I will be on the safe side.

Now before I go any further I must thank you for my lovely birthday parcel or you will think that I am most unappreciative, but we were all so delighted with all the nice things and have really enjoyed it. Both the children and I have had the greatest fun with the cookie press, and although I am not yet an expert with it I am gradually getting better. For my big coffee party for the Guild I tried it out myself and then on Friday I was making cookies for a tea party on Sunday when we were having the Spanish Fellow and his wife, Dr. and Mrs. Herranz, and their two little girls Marie Isabella and Lucretia and Dr and Mrs. Shrivastava and their little girl Vinnie. We had a lovely time and made hearts and butterflies and all sorts of things and the children both enjoyed making them and eating them. Actually the tea party was funny as I tried so hard to make all things that the Shrivastavas could eat (Hindus – vegetarian – no eggs even) and made cheese scones and had things like olives and other snacky things and jam tarts and the cookie press cookies made without eggs like shortbread, and in the end when Cec went for them Mrs. Shrivastava was sick and they couldn’t come! However the Herranz came and they are very nice and the two little girls of three and four are very sweet and Linda had a lovely time playing with them.

Playing on the see-saw Cec had made for an earlier birthday- taught us a lot about physics I’m sure!

To go back to the parcel the stockings were most, most welcome. I wouldn’t say that the black seams and heels do much for my fat little legs, but they are very welcome just the same and the more conventional pair was worn right away. The children were very delighted with their CASH and will say thank you when they come home. My buttonholer turned out to be such a disappointment, but I hope that everything will turn out all right. I ordered the one in the catalogue – the only one actually, but of course all the machines are different models to the one I got – you know how they change them all the time over here, and when it arrived and Cec and I tried it it just wouldn’t fit on my machine. I phoned them up about it, and kept trying to get some help from the man in the sewing machine dept. but he was very vague, so I waited until I went over to Simpson Sears one day, and then they said they didn’t make one to fit my machine anymore. However, when I went to the catalogue counter to return it the girl said that if I sent her the serial number of my machine she would write to the Head Office in Toronto and she thought that they would be able to get me one, so I hope that this is what they will do. Such a nuisance as the machine isn’t that all that old, and when you think of the old old Singers and Whites that are still going strong after 20 or 30 years it makes you mad. Never mind, I may yet get my buttonholer! In the meanwhile I am still making them by hand. Last week I decided that I had to make Linda and myself sundresses, as neither of us have much in that line and it was very hot again. It looks as if this summer is going to be a scorcher as already we have had some very hot weather, and it has been so dry all May that people are having well trouble already. I planted some petunias and portulaca plants from the Market last week and the poor things are looking very bedraggled but it is cloudy today and we are hoping for some showers. I got a present of a plant when I came out of hospital in the winter and you will be amused to hear that it was a croton! It looked quite pretty when I got it, but gradually the leaves dropped off until now it looks more like a palm tree with a tuft of leaves on top, so last week I put it out in the garden hoping it would improve but the poor thing is looking more depressed than ever with the drought! However, to return to the sundresses, I cut them both out from some material I got in the sales last summer – it is what they call a tissue gingham, and I thought it was rather pretty – I shall include a little piece so that you can see – the blue is Linda’s and the pink is mine, and I got some blue grosgrain ribbon to match the darker stripe and made a belt and straps of it and got it finished in time for the tea party on Sunday. Linda was delighted and I thought she looked very sweet in it, but when she asked her Daddy he looked a bit doubtful and said “I don’t like the material much – it looks like pillowcase ticking!” so now I know we will always think of them as our pillowcase dresses! Mine of course is not done yet, but maybe this week, if we get more hot weather to spur me on!

It was so roasting last week, and on Sat. from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm we were having the Sunday School picnic over in the big Park, and what should happen but the weather changed on Friday night and it was grey and dull and cold, and we sat and huddled in rugs and froze! The children of course were fine, as they ran races and rushed about and kept warm, but us poor Mamas and spectators had a most comfortless time! Cec went into work, and when he came home about 4 he brought Bengt Kleman to dinner. I had planned to have cold roast pork if it was hot but instead I had a good old hot stuffed roast of pork and it was very welcome with the furnace going and the wind blowing! Bengt stayed till nearly midnight and it was nice to have him, but what with my cold morning in the open air, I was just about asleep.

I had planned to answer all your letters, but this has ambled on at such a rate and Mr. Pulker will probably arrive before long, so I think that maybe I should end and begin another letter-answering one another day. I don’t remember if I yet thanked you for the 2 A.M.s which did arrive together, but what do you think the ridiculous P.O. at Ottawa did with your previous letter. Redirected it out to Penticton under the impression that it was Mrs. H.H. Costain instead of me, so of course Leona sent it back, but what a roundabout route. They sent quite a few things out and in the end I had to phone the P.O. and complain.

Will stop for now then- love to Auntie Muriel and Peggy when you see her- hello from all of us to Doris,

Lots and lots of love from us all –

April 13 1962 Part 2

Dearest Mama,
Just a short note to answer some of your questions. You asked about my ribs etc. – they are fine now & I don’t feel any effects at all. When I am tired I get a bit of an ache in my back where the worst ones were & it is a little flat there, but it isn’t much & a rest puts it right again. As you can tell by all the wall-washing & painting etc. I am not incapacitated at all!
You asked me about taking Charlie with his toe to the Hospital – yes, it was the one on Montreal Rd. – St. Louis-Marie de Montfort! It was just the Outpatient Department we went to, & we quite saw Life! – a father with 2 little children who had swallowed aspirins & had their stomachs pumped out! It seemed all right but all French of course & none of the Drs. seem to send anything serious there – the Civic has all the equipment & facilities I suppose.
What do you think? Eve Proudfoot has a DAUGHTER! Born on the 11th, over 8 lbs. & called Laura Jane! You can imagine Mrs. Barltrop [the grandmother] – she is just popping!! She took us quite by surprise as Dr. Smith had said the end of the month but everyone is very pleased for her and Jim. Mr. & Mrs. B. have moved to a house in town, as they really needed the room I suppose. [The Proudfoots had 2 sons quite a bit older] There seems to be quite a spate of “second-thought” babies – when is Peggy’s due? Poor Pat Tomlinson is having another in August – Jamie is just 1 yr. now & she has so much trouble with varicose veins that I am really sorry for her.
We have heard no more from our Insurance man & actually I feel I’d like to forget the whole thing now. We got about $150 rebate on our Income Tax & Ontario Medical Insurance as our Medical Expenses were so high last year – all my accident & Charlie’s business & Linda’s teeth – it was very welcome! L’s teeth are coming along fine- she has what she calls “metal work” all around her lower front teeth now, pulling them into shape & filling up the 2 spaces [I had had 4 teeth removed to make room] & she seems to get used to it quite quickly. Must stop now & get some work done.
Hugs from the children – it is marbles & skipping season now! Love to Auntie Muriel – hello to Doris –
With lots of love from

I’m not sure why Cyn wrote the answers to her mother’s questions as a separate letter, but as she did, I published them that way. All of the questions are following up things Cyn had written about earlier that year or even the year before, and her mother would remember the friends Cyn wrote about from her stay in 1960.

April 13 1962

2043 Montreal Rd
Ottawa 2

Friday the 13th. [April 1962]

Dearest Mummy,
Here am I just sending your Easter & birthday cards & your Easter card arrived yesterday with the enclosed note. Thank you so much. I have had the cards for ages but didn’t want to send them too soon, then this week we have been so busy with our PAINTING & the house is in such a turmoil! We got on very well last weekend – Cec got all the ceilings washed twice & I washed the walls & then we began painting & got 2 coats on the part of the room near the bedrooms & it looks very nice. This is the colour – quite harmless! I have been doing the doors & windows, woodwork etc. in the enamel, but we found that we just had about 1/8 the can of paint left for the rest of the walls, so ordered more, & wouldn’t you know it? They are out of it & we have to wait! So here we are, sitting in the chaos! However, Cec has taken down & washed the bamboo curtains & we have got the material to recover the dining room chairs, so we can get on with something. The material is a browny linen tweed, & we plan to get or make a new slip cover for the sofa & get new curtains eventually, so we should look elegant! Cec has moved the big bookcase over in front of the bedroom doors as a room divider & we will make the part with the big windows the sitting room – will draw you a plan when we are all done.
We have another change to make too – Cec was shutting the garage door on Wed. & it fell down! So we have ordered a new one & a new storm/screen door for the front door -the latter was old & cracked & need a new screening. I am glad to get rid of the old garage door to as it was so heavy & this new one should be easier to manage.
This has been a busy week, what with the painting at home & all sorts of things outside. I have been making Linda’s costume for the Ballet Recital – she is to be a page & wears long black tights, a white long sleeved blouse & a short royal blue coat–affair with a flared skirt & a big blue beret – it is the coat & hat I’ve been making & what a pest as we had to adapt a dress pattern & they gave us very little material. However, it is nearly done. The Dress Rehearsal is on Sat. & the recital is Sat. 28th, so we will just be back home in time.

On Mon. evening Cec & I went to the last of our Film Society & saw a colour film of the U.S. taken by a Frenchman. It was very amusing, as he was tickled by all sorts of funny things – a Convention for Twins; a Strip Tease School; etc. & he was allowed in prisons, universities & so on, & as he was an artist he got some lovely pictures, so we enjoyed it very much.
On Tues. evening there was a Concert at the School & both Lindy & Charlie were singing with their classes. The singing is always very nice & while we thoroughly enjoyed hearing it, it was also fun to see & hear the funny little Grade 1’s etc. Fanni had to go, as her sons wanted her to, but neither Babusch or Daniel were allowed to sing – they just had to stand with the others & open & shut their mouths!!
On Wed. morning we had a great project for the Bazaar. About 10 – 12 of us went to 9:30 a.m. Service & then met in the kitchen & had a Sewing Bee for the Children’s Wear Stall. We made gathered cotton skirts & shorts for all sizes & “pop tops” – sleeveless short blouses, you know.

I cut out & 5 of us had sewing machines, & the rest cut out or did hand sewing & we got on quite well & took what wasn’t finished home with us. I have made 3 hats for our hat stall – “La Boutique”!! They are just little flower & veiling things – one white with bright flowers – one black veiling with pink flowers & one black veiling with a gold & bright coloured brocade ring on top!

My own hats are quite a success – I made one of pinky–mauvy–purpley flowers which matches my spring coat & is quite pretty, & adapted Linda’s straw bonnet with brown ribbon & yellow flowers to go with “your” silk material & made myself a white mohair hat. The latter was a “shape”, so – & I steamed it & shaped it, but I’m not too happy with it – might change it yet! It has been fun though and I learnt quite a bit.

Last night was our night at the Little Theatre & they had on a play “Send Me No Flowers” which was funny & well done. We went with the Savics & went to the French Buffet first & had dinner as my birthday treat, so it was a lovely evening. I am feeling much more cheerful now that the spring is coming although today it is cold & sleeting!! However, Charlie’s toe is nearly better & the sun shines sometimes!
Lots of love from us all, Happy Easter to you and Auntie Muriel-

March 2 1962

This letter mentions in passing an event that must have loomed large in February 1962- Cyn’s Cookery Demonstration that the Ladies Guild of the Church used as a fundraiser. I am so sorry that the letter giving Carol details of her plans and preparations is missing, because it was quite an undertaking. Nowadays, television/Youtube has made us familiar with the cook demonstrating the preparation, combining of ingredients, setting up of the dish to be cooked, all the while chatting about what they were doing and why, but in the 60s this sort of entertainment combined with education was rare. Cyn was a professional, and would have preferred to do this sort of thing after her training instead of teaching, and these demonstrations were a successful illustration of how good she would have been at it.
Cyn had to decide on what her audience would be interested in watching and later making, and give them an interesting variety too. She needed some sort of theme, and would have chosen something fairly easy to do, probably for the purpose of home entertaining, but not that well known to her audience. (For example, choux pastry is not that hard to make, but turning the baked product into a swan creates a platter worthy of a fancy tea or company dessert.) After the menu planning- probably appetizer, entrée, and dessert- came the preparation- and this is where my memory comes in- Cyn was pretty hard to live with those weeks before the actual event. My mother was not one of those people who allowed her children to cook along side of her, teaching and giving them tasks to ‘help’! No, she wanted her kitchen to herself as she practised her menu and worked out the timing and the sequencing of events in the demonstration. Her recipes had to be typed up for publication and given to other Guild members to reproduce for the audience to take home with them. The Church Hall had to be set up for it too- there was a kitchen off to one side where the helpers would bake/roast/finish what Cyn had just demonstrated, but there was no platform, so one had to be set up, and electricity provided there so she could use her MixMaster to beat ingredients or a hot plate so she could cook in her demonstration- making choux pastry, or sauces- with chairs in front for the audience.
Then she had to co-ordinate her helpers ‘backstage’- the other women in the Guild who would take her prepared product off to the oven and provide the previously-baked-and-cooled duplicate- so the cream could be whipped, the choux bun could be filled, and the swan neck could be attached to demonstrate the finished product! When all the recipes had been shown in their various stages, the spectators were invited to admire the finished presentation, taste the results, and praise the demonstrator- who took a few days to recover. This Cookery Demonstration became an annual event, but I’m sure the behind-the-scenes ballet was tense this first year they all tried it!

2043 Montreal Rd.
Ottawa 2 Ont.

2nd March.

Dearest Mummy,
Sorry that I haven’t written – I have been busy with poor Charlie’s NOSE! He is so unlucky, poor fellow, and seems to have something in his metabolism that makes it hard for him to get rid of things.
Anyway – I wrote last before the Cookery Dem. – which went off very well, by the way, and his nose bled off and on all week. I took him to Dr. K. & he gave us nose drops & I was to put vaseline etc. but although the bleeding wasn’t heavy, he still had it now & then. On the Friday Mom & Dad Costain came back from Carp & spent the weekend here & left again by train on Mon. morning to go to Merle’s at Brantford. Charlie’s nose had been much better over the weekend & didn’t bleed at all on the Sun. so Mon. I sent him to school & went down with Cec to see Mom & Dad off at 10 a.m. I was hardly back in the house before the School Nurse phoned that Charlie was bleeding again!
I got him home & called Dr. K. & he made arrangements for me to take Charlie to Dr. McKercher the Ear, Throat & Nose Specialist (did L.’s tonsils) to get it cauterized so we spent all afternoon in his office, but finally got it done. Dr. McK. said to keep him home the next day & send him to school Wed. & it was the Scout & Cub Father & Son Banquet on the Tues. evening, so Charlie seemed fine & he & Cec went & had a nice time then he hardly got to bed & he sneezed – out came the packing & it began to bleed! I took him to Dr. McK. again on Wed. & he cauterized it once more, Thurs. I took him to Dr. Kastner for a blood check to make sure his blood was not low & Friday I took Linda to the orthodontist! What a week in Dr’s offices!
Over the weekend the wretched nose bled each bedtime & on Mon. it just began all day worse than ever so on Tues. Dr. McK. said to take him into hospital & there the poor little fellow is! He isn’t feeling ill at all but they have just packed his nose & kept him in bed & Dr. McK. is going to take out the packing today & if it is all right he can come home this afternoon or tomorrow. He is very good of course, but wants to come home – he doesn’t like the food in the hospital!
So I have been going over to see him every afternoon (he’s in the Civic of course [far side of town]) & then again in the evening, so the days have been rushed, and the weather has been terrible all this 2 weeks. More snow than the whole rest of the winter & each day I had a lot of driving to do there would be a blizzard! It is cold & sunny today (below zero) but more snow tomorrow!
I enjoyed hearing about all the visitors & thank you for your letters. Will write a better letter next time, but must have lunch now & get ready to go to the Hospital. Charlie is writing you a letter there!
Lots of love for you & A. Moo & all the cousins from us all –

February 2 1962

Up to this point, the letters in 1960 and 1961 have been well preserved so that reading them in sequence connects the events in the Costain’s lives and makes them easy to follow. Unfortunately, 1962 has gaps, so that what starts out to be only one letter a month preserved with others obviously missing- leading to a ‘Huh?’ moment when some unknown event is referred to – is then followed by two April letters, a June one, two in July and one final one in December! After that, there are no letters until 1966, when both children are in high school and life is different- or perhaps not, you can decide. I will try to fill in some of the holes from my memory and the scrapbooks, and be glad that some of the events are recorded – having been spoiled by the wealth of detail lately!

2043 Montreal Road,
Ottawa 2, Ontario.

2nd Feb. 1962.

Dearest Mummy,
Thank you so much for your last letter. I am glad that you had got mine, but sorry that the belated Christmas parcel still hasn’t come – it will be a Valentine parcel instead! At least, I don’t think that there is anything in it to spoil!
My goodness – what a surprise! The Pems and Mona and family coming too! I can imagine that you will be in a real whirl. In a way it seems a pity to have them all at once rather than spreading them out and being able to enjoy them a few at a time, but in another way it is nice that all the preparation for one lot of visitors will do for the other contingent too! I wonder how you are getting on with your search for a house for the new arrivals. Cec thinks that once Uncle Fred has it in hand that the matter is as good as done, but as you say, there aren’t that many houses to choose from, but I hope he will get something so that you are not all worried to bits. I can just imagine the chaos in Highland Mills with getting Granny, Mamma and twins all outfitted for their holiday! I wonder how Margs is feeling now that she will be the only one left behind? If their weather has been anything like ours for the last week I should think she will be ready to jump in anyone’s pocket – we have had a solid week with the temperature never above -5°, and last night it was 27° below zero. They say warmer tomorrow – probably a lovely warm zero!
Mom and Dad Costain left us a week ago and went to Lea’s for a few weeks. It was so strange because Lea and family had had colds etc. so Mom and Dad had waited until they were over so that they wouldn’t catch them, and they just left here in time because the moment they left we got sick! They left on the Thurs. afternoon, and on Fri. morning I woke up with a real doozy of a cold, and Charlie began being sick! He was throwing up all day, and then when that was over he seem to feel much better and had no temp. to speak of, then on Sat. and Sun. he convalesced and didn’t eat much, but my cold was really going and I felt pretty awful. Then in the middle of Sunday night Linda began vomiting and she had the bug! I kept them both home on Monday and Linda got better quite quickly and my cold was much better, but as they both looked quite peaky I kept them home on Tuesday and what should happen but that I should suddenly get it and begin to be sick too! It was so sudden and violent that I just went to bed and lay there and dozed, and the children were so good – they got their own lunch and then Charlie washed the dishes and Linda got the dinner ready (hot dogs!) so Cec came home to things well organized! By next day my tummy really felt all right, just I felt a bit weak and weary, so the children went off to school and Cec stayed home in the morning and then took Linda to the orthodontist for me in the afternoon. We had good news there because Dr. Braden says that her teeth are moving into place very well and much more quickly than he had expected, so perhaps it won’t take the whole 2 years after all. We are all feeling back to normal now, except for Cec who caught a bit of my cold, but I am so glad that Mom and Dad were well out of the way of all our germs!
Just before Mom and Dad went to Lea’s Dad finished the headboard for our bed and he and Cec put it into place. It looks beautiful, and is just so luxurious as I pull out one thing for a back rest, and pull down another for a bedside table, and arrange all my odds and ends in my bedside cupboards! I have really made use of it in the week since Dad has left as I have spent quite a lot of time in bed! I long to start painting and decorating and new curtains and things but this miserable cold weather doesn’t encourage me a bit! Dad and Mom will be back here for a bit I gather, before they go down to Merle’s and I rather think that they will return here again before going West, but there is nothing definite, so we will just wait and see how things go.
With having them here we seem to have done very little in the social line this year. We were invited to the Savics on Friday Night and I was so much looking forward to an evening out, then of course I felt so awful with the cold that I couldn’t go. Cec was going to stay at home with me and then Peter called and said why didn’t he come anyway and as I was in bed and so were the children and he was sitting all by himself with no company, he was very pleased to go, and had a nice time. Since then poor Margaret and Peter have got Eddie in the hospital once more – his ulcer began bleeding internally again and he had to be rushed in. It looks as if he will have to have an operation and have part of his stomach removed, and it is such a shame for a young boy, but he has been on a strict diet, he’s been taking pills regularly and still it happens so there seems nothing else to do.
You will be amused to hear that Cec and I went and played badminton one night! They are trying to begin a Badminton Club in connection with the Church – they can’t actually play in the Church Hall as it isn’t big enough and not light enough, but they play in the school gym. I think it is a good idea, not necessarily for us, but for the young people more, so to make it go Cec and I signed up and took advantage of our built-in babysitters and went down one night. We were pretty hopeless of course, but it was quite fun, and to our amazement we weren’t crippled next day!
Please congratulate Peggy on her news for me! I really think that it is very nice as she seems really so fond of children and she can get so much help that it isn’t the tie for her that it is for someone here. Did I tell you that Eve Proudfoot is having a baby next month? At one meeting in the Fall she said to me “Did you know that I was getting a little girl in March?” and I looked at her blankly and said “No – where from?” and then she said “The usual place” and we both roared with laughter, because the way she put it I thought she must be adopting one. Sheena Kalra finally had her baby on Monday, a little girl. She has been expecting it since Christmas, and her mother flew from Scotland before Christmas to be with Sheena when the baby came, so every time I phoned Sheena would answer and I would say “What, are you still here?” and she would giggle. At last I called last week and her Mother was due to go home on Sat. and still no baby, so I don’t know whether she had postponed her return flight and was still there on Monday or not. There was a bit in the paper this week about a baby born here weighing 16 lbs.- better not tell Peggy!
Thank you so much for the diary too and the children’s letters. They arrived this week too. Charlie wants me to tell you that his school bag weighed 9 lbs. 8 oz., not 9 lbs. 16 oz. and that it was a slip of the typewriter and not that he doesn’t know how many oz. are in a lb! The children were very interested in your new dog and I hope that he will be a good watchdog for you.
I am enclosing two pictures for you that Cec took this summer. When he was having lunch with Miss Lefroy in London he took two pictures and this is one of them. We meant to have the prints done in time for Christmas, but things were so confused this year that we have just had them done now, and we knew that you would like one of your dear A.G.L. The other picture is quite good too, but Miss Lefroy is not looking at the camera, and we thought this one was better. The other is Linda in her Chinese Girl’s costume from the Operetta. We are a bit disappointed in the print as it is very wishy-washy looking, and the transparency is lovely and bright with Lindy’s jacket a pretty daffodil yellow, but they say that this is the best that they can do.

A better picture than the one she sent Carol!

The cutting out of the newspaper is of our first big wedding at St. Christopher’s, and June Bell, the bride, has taught Sunday School and being a member of the Church since we began. It is an awful picture of her – she is really a pretty girl – but I sent this one to let you see all the funny little children! It was a very pretty winter wedding – the two older girls had red velvet dresses with white fur headbands and white fur muffs with red carnations and holly sprays on, then the older boy had a white shirt with black velvet trousers and he carried the ring on a red velvet cushion. The two little pages were in white frilled shirts and red velvet trousers and the tiny flower girl was in a long red velvet dress, but otherwise like the big girls. The Guild of course did the catering for the reception – they have a big house down in Rothwell Heights and they had 100 people, and everything very elegant – two barmen and all sorts of drinks and champagne for the Toast. Eve Proudfoot made the 3 tier cake, but I didn’t want to ice it, so they got one of the confectioner firms to do it, and it looked very nice, but when we came to cut it and hand it round it was like cutting plaster! Six of us went at about 1:30, and began getting things ready and then the wedding was at 2:00 so we had time to get organized while everyone was away. We served small open faced canapes; hot curried crab canapes; cheese butterflies; chicken patties; mushroom patties (both hot); and hot cocktail sausages. For the children we served ordinary small sandwiches and a chip dip with potato chips and cookies, and then after the Toast and we cut and served the wedding cake, we had hot coffee for those who wanted it. We also made sandwiches and cookies for a trousseau tea she had before Christmas, and for this and the reception and the wedding cake we charged just over 130 dollars. I think this was quite reasonable, don’t you? And Mrs. Bell was just delighted – she said she could never thank us enough for all we done, and seemed to be more than pleased with everything, and she is one who doesn’t mince words if she doesn’t like a thing! All of this was on the Thurs. after Christmas, so you can see we really had a busy time of it. We also catered for a hot luncheon for the teachers at school on the last day of school – the very Friday before Christmas, so what with my large Christmas household of 15, things were really hopping!

You asked in your letter if Uncle Milton and Aunt Lillie came up for Christmas, and this was really the one disappointment we had. Apparently when Merle phoned them up and suggested them coming up, after we wrote and suggested it to Merle they were very pleased with the idea and Uncle was full of it, so we wrote them and told them how much we’d like them to come and it was all arranged. Then Uncle began getting cold feet – he was feeling so tired – it was such a bad time of the year – they were so busy at work etc. until finally he decided not to come. Poor Aunt Lillie was so disappointed and wrote us such a pathetic letter that we all felt so sorry for her and very sad that they didn’t come, but he is apparently nervy and this happens all the time. Merle had asked them to Brantford for the New Year weekend when they got back, but from what she says in her last letter they didn’t even go there.
We didn’t have our usual Open House at New Year – I really didn’t feel up to it with the big Christmas and all the Guild work on top of the ribs, and with the latter I had a real excuse to give it a miss. Normally I enjoy it, but it was just too much this year. Dad doesn’t use a hearing aid yet although he is still talking about it, and Cec says he will take him down to Zenith one day. He is fine when you talk to him directly, but has trouble in a big crowd as you always used to find. Myrtle is the same as ever, but has a sore hip – arthritis I gather. You probably will get her Christmas card at Valentine time along with our parcel!
I finally finished all my thank you letters today, so I feel very relieved, although I was as slow pokey as usual. However, this year my Christmas parcels were so late that at least I got most of my thank yous written before I received theirs! This is Friday and the children are full of shenanigans! They have done an hour’s homework and piano practice and are now romping like puppies! Tomorrow we have ballet, grocery shopping and library, and I feel that I should go to the hospital to see Sheena so it looks like a busy day.
I must stop now as I don’t want to go onto another sheet of paper – love to Auntie Muriel from all of us, and hello to Doris. Take care of yourself and don’t exhaust yourself polishing up the whole island for the Visitors!
Lots and lots of love from us all

December 6 1961

Back in May [May 17 1961] Cyn, in a long letter to her mother, referred to her Will and her shares, since they had been discussing which Bank should act as Carol’s executor. The last letter [November 23 1961] was Cec’s long-delayed information about her finances. (This letter from Carol Ewing- ‘Dearest Mummy’ to Cyn, Mum to Cec, Grannie to me and Charlie- only exists because she sent it on an Air Form with a map of St. Vincent that I later used for a school project, which Cyn kept in the scrapbook.) Carol’s answer to Cec about the investments he made for her gives a sample of the typing which Cyn is always encouraging her to do, as well as an idea of her personality, brief though it is.

Murray Rd.
St. Vincent.

Dec: 6th 61.

Dear Cec,
Thanks for your note, I am just recovering from shock!! but this is to send you good wishes from St.V: as you will see by inside I thought it would interest you and amuse you too. It is a scheme to raise funds for our Red Cross, I think it was Mrs. Giles’ idea, but whether she did the drawing I do not know, the only fault I have to find about it is that they have not shown all the mountains in the centre of the island, but the products are very good aren’t they?
Thanks so much for getting the Bonds for me, if I had remembered sooner I w’d have told you to leave them over for the present, however it’s done, and I’ll have to come and pick them up in 1970! ha ha!!
When I wrote my will they asked me for a list of my investments, so I wrote to Martin’s and got them, then I added the number of the bonds, they wanted to know the name of my Canadian Bank, I told them Toronto G-T-Corp: he then said he would have to contact them about the Bonds, but I told him they were not at my Bank that you had them. So probably they will contact you, such a fuss!! Anyway, beware!!
I am so thankful to know Cyn is improving slowly but surly I hope, you must have had a bad time of it, if only I had been there this year instead of last, I w’d have been there to help, too sad & bad. I am glad you like the new car and I hope it goes on well, & the debt will soon get cleared.
Sorry this is written so badly but I have a man painting the wires at my windows, and he is making such a mess of the glass, that I am swearing and having to stop every minute to tell him off, and I am full of splashes too!!
Very much love to you all and “have a happy”
Yours Mum.

November 20 1961

Went to Emil today- feel more respectable!
20th Nov. 1961

Dearest Mummy,
Sorry to have been so long in writing. I am fine but I find that it takes me a long time to do anything & then I am fair wore out, so I don’t get much done!
At long last Cec got your glasses today and took them to Mr. Olmsted. In the parcel of course he found your letter telling all about your fall. Of course, here & in the U.S. you’re not allowed to put letters in parcels, but what made the big delay was that it was sent to the Customs, & then they sent us a P.C. saying there was a parcel. We didn’t connect it with your glasses for quite a while & Cec didn’t get down to collect it straight away with having no car & all the general confusion, but now I hope we’ll get it soon & send it off as quickly as we can.
The first week I was home we did without a car then we got the money from our car insurance & last week Cec went downtown & looked around at new cars & in the end got another Envoy. It is the new model just come in – such an awkward time to buy – no 1961 cars left & hardly any new 1962 ones arrived. It is a little different to Rosie – slightly wider & longer & other small changes & we got the only one in Ottawa so had no choice as to colour etc.! Fortunately it is a nice of blue with a pale blue side streak & blue leather inside & Cec seems to like it very much.

I am doing very well & although I am disgusted sometimes at how little I feel like doing, I look back a week & realize I am improving each day. I still have trouble sleeping through the night & ache a bit, but can now bend & lift fairly well. I never had much trouble breathing as most of my broken ribs were in the back, but a cough or sneeze is a major crisis! I will try & get the typewriter out & write a long letter soon – have to tell you all about Charlie being in the Public Speaking Contest!! Sorry I never told you anything about Christmas presents – I just have no ideas & I am afraid all mine will be months late as I haven’t done a thing yet.

Dottie’s son, from England.

Love & thanks to A. Moo & lots of love to you from us all.

October 12 1961

12th Oct.1961

Dearest Mama,

Thank you for your letter of 3rd which arrived on Tuesday. In it you said not to bother sending the babies & balloons as your Bazaar it was to be 1st Nov., but I had this little packet of babies & as they & a small pkt. of balloons won’t weigh much I thought I would just send them off air mail & it would be a little something. They have other tiny party favours of the same type, so if I find some other cute ones I may send them another time.
The other enclosure will startle you! Well, about 10 days ago Cec got an invitation for us to go to dinner with the High Commissioner of India & his wife! Cec had been asked to help with the examination of some Indian students for their Civil Service Commission & in addition to that he has had invitations to go to various Indian universities after his visit to Japan, so the invitation was in connection with all this. Actually the invitation was for the 10th (Tues.) & it was a Guild Meeting but Mr. Pulker (the Rector) said this was what Vice Presidents were for, so June Byrne took the meeting for me!

Anyway, I decided this called for a new dress, (the invitation was “semi – formal”) and I have been pining for a pure silk – they always feel so gorgeous – so I decided to buy some really nice material & make it. Unfortunately last week Linda had a cold & was home from school 3 days and Charlie had a bad stye & was home 2 days so I didn’t get downtown till Thurs. I went to a shop on Sparks St. that has lovely imported materials & looked at the silk prints & they were all so beautiful – then I asked the price $11 – $12 – $17 a yd.! I said meekly I didn’t want to pay so much (I had thought about $5 a yd.) so the girl brought out some between $5 & $10 & then she pulled out this roll and said “Oh here is a bargain – this is reduced from $10 a yd. to $6 a yd. because there is only a short piece left.” It was all shades of green & pinky-red as you can see – rhododendrons I think – very gay & unlike anything I’ve ever had, so I fell for it & got it. I only needed 3 yds so with the material & pattern etc. it came to $20 & everyone tells me that you can’t get an Italian pure silk dress for less than $100!! Of course I had a scramble getting it made – Thanksgiving weekend – but I cut it out & did some Friday – a little bit Saturday – a little bit Monday & finished on Tuesday in time to go to the party! I combined 2 patterns to make the dress – I liked a very pretty draped skirt of one but it had a very naked top with straps so I took another pattern with a simple top & it made up very well & fits nicely – tight across around the seat – I must lose weight!

The dinner was very nice – only Mr. & Mrs. Malhautra and the Head of the Indian Civil Service Commissioner were from India & the rest were scientists & their wives & an External Affairs man & his – 13 in all. We expected vegetarian dinner & no drinks being Hindu but as diplomats apparently they follow the international customs & we had drinks before, wine with dinner & liqueurs afterwards & a most delicious meal served buffet style. All sorts of Indian dishes as well as chicken legs cooked in a sauce & a very nicely flavoured fish casserole etc. & afterwards a sort of pineapple mousse & an Indian dessert called “Gold & Silver”. This was a dish of small brown balls looking like crystallized fruit, with a thin skin of gold & silver stretched right over the top like a skin on hot milk. As you helped yourself you got some of the gold and silver & just ate it! The balls were warm & sweet & had a gingerbread-y texture & Mrs. Malhautra told us they were made from milk boiled & boiled & boiled for hours & hours! Wasn’t that interesting? Altogether it was quite a fascinating experience & I enjoyed it.
I want to mail this & go to the Coin Wash so I will stop now & tell you about Thanksgiving & our visit to Jim & Lea’s new cottage on Sunday in my next letter. Also we had houseguests for a night in the middle of my sewing!! Will write soon – hugs from the children – much love from us all

October 3 1961

Historical events pop into these letters about personal lives and domestic details very briefly and without explanation. For example, the defecting Soviet chemist, Dr Klotchko, that Cyn mentioned in her August 21 1961 letter, would have been connected in Cyn and Carol’s minds with the defection of the ballet star Rudolph Nureyev in Paris the previous June, but neither bothered mentioning it, knowing that the other would have been interested and informed about it and would make the connexion. In her September 20th letter, Cyn makes a brief mention of the West Indies Federation, which had been formed in 1958 as a political union that would achieve independence from Britain as a single confederation, but was gradually shaking apart in the summer of 1961. Canada, as a colonial power that had achieved independence, was sympathetic and had given the Federation two ships to be a link between all the islands, and in this letter, Cyn thanks her mother for an article about one of them- The Federal Maple. But foremost in their lives was the parish supper that their respective churches were hosting, and those details feature much more prominently in their letters!

3rd Oct. 1961

Dearest Mummy,
Thank you for your last week’s letter and the enclosures about the “Fed. Maple” and your supper. I was tickled about the “Dinner – Dancing – Bar”– I can imagine our church advertising that!
Our supper was a great success though – and only .25¢ each! We are going to be about $5 in the hole but as it was to welcome the Reverend Pulker and his family we don’t feel that it matters. We had 220 people buying tickets – more than 1/2 children & it was from 5:30 to 7:00. I expected we’d get them coming gradually. We set up long tables with the food on at the top & card tables & chairs all around the hall to seat 92. We had cold turkey & ham, hot casseroles, (mac & cheese, beans, meatballs, scal. potatoes etc.) salads & rolls, then on a separate table desserts – cakes, pies, & little tubs of ice cream. Milk for children – tea & coffee for adults. To my horror everyone poured in between 5:30 & 6:00, so we were kept rushing to replenish the table with food. Cec & the children came just after 6:0 & I was afraid there would be nothing left for them! However, everything was just fine even though we found some of the boys did help themselves to 6 & 7 desserts! Our greatest trouble was water – the pump was broken & I found this out the day before, so you can imagine my agitation. The plumber worked all day & got it going just at 6:30 as the dirty dishes began coming back!
I have both children home this week – Charlie with a bad stye & snuffle & Lindy with a real wooshy cold. Two are easier than one though! Made apple jelly yesterday & spiced crab apples & chutney at the weekend – my cupboard looks nice! Love to A. Muriel & lots for you from us all –

September 20 1961

2043 Montreal Rd.
Ottawa 2, Ontario.

20th Sept. 1961

Dearest Mummy,
I can hardly believe that it is really just 2 weeks since the children began school. It already seems like two months and I am sure that they feel the same! They seem both seem quite content with their new teachers though – Charlie has the English teacher, Mrs. Cripwell, that Linda had last year – Cec and I did not think too much of her as Linda seem to get worse in Arithmetic after having her instead of better, but the children like her all right. Linda has Mrs. Tyler and all summer she was moaning and groaning about how much she hated Mrs. Tyler, but of course after the first day she has changed her mind and thinks that she is O.K. now! Of course they both have homework now and so in a way it is easier than when only Linda had it, but they are both still quite slow and what with half an hour’s practice on the piano they seem to have no time for play much to their sorrow! However they both like their piano lessons and Mrs. Scott says that they are doing very well – Linda is more self-confident and goes at it as if she knows all about it, but actually they are both doing just the same so far. I go down and listen to them practising most days, and they are really very cute with it and I am learning something too! They go every Thursday for their lessons – Linda 4:30 – 5:00 and Charlie 5:00 – 5:30 – it is a dollar fifty a lesson, so we’re paying by cheque every month.
Fortunately our weather has abated, and is now more like Sept. weather – nice cool nights and lovely sunny days. We had a very slight frost one night but not enough to damage anything – in fact the gardens are all looking lovely and everything is still so green and pretty – hardly any of the trees are changing yet and it looks fresher and greener than lots of our usual summer months. I hear that there is another hurricane heading for the U.S. and might even reach Long Island, so I expect Monie and Margs will be anxiously watching the weather news – it seems to be a bad year, but I hope none of them will be heading your way. In the news this morning I heard all the worry the W.I. Confederation are having about Jamaica – I wonder what will happen. It hardly seems as if they had given it a fair trial yet.
I told you in my last letter that I had begun a letter to you, but when I came to continue it today, it was so disjointed and garbled with many interruptions, and not even getting on very quickly, so I decided that I might as well begin all over again, and try and get this written up this afternoon while the children were at school. When they come home what with practising and homework and dinner, and then when that is over scrub Charlie with his soap every night and bandage his legs up, so that I seem to be fully occupied from 3:30 till about 9 o’clock! Did I tell you that just as school began poor old Charlie broke out in a wretched lot of boils again? I took him back to the specialist, Dr. Jackson, and he told me to continue using the ointment he’d given me (it has cortisone in and some antiseptic) and to keep his legs bandaged all the time and wash him every night with a special soap, and wash all his clothes and towels every day – including his trousers. He had some horrid big boils but they did drain and heal quite quickly, and now I am only bandaging his eczema at night so he won’t scratch, but continuing to scrub him and his clothes every day. I took him to Dr. J. again on Mon. and he says he is getting on fine and gave him some type of new treatment for his eczema – like x-rays he says – just for a very short time and we are to go back next week for him to see if it did any good. What with the skin specialist and Linda’s Orthodontist we are really busy these days! We went last week to the new Orth.whose name is Dr. Bradon and he is to do Linda’s teeth- they will take at least 2 years! Fortunately Linda likes him – he is young looking and has a bit of a look of Hugh P. and has a very nice way with children. Linda and I were horrified in a sort of giggly way, because after examining her teeth, he shook his head and said “Linda, you have got everything wrong with your teeth that it is possible to have!” Apparently, her teeth are big and she has a dainty little mouth he says and they are just all pushing each other out of shape. Her back teeth have got pushed forward till they don’t bite against each other and her front teeth are pushed out and her bottom teeth overlap! She is to begin by having bands on the back teeth to pull them back into place and then will have some incisors out to make room for the others and will then eventually have bands on the upper and lower front ones. Isn’t it a performance? Of course this will be done one thing at a time, so she won’t find it bad, but this is why it will take so long, but by the time he told me all the things to do I was relieved to hear it would cost around 750 dollars – I was expecting thousands! Cec and I are wondering if we’ll have to enjoy Linda’s teeth instead of a trip to England! She begins next month with three appointments to make the bands and fit the first one and then after that we go every three weeks – we pay $175 deposit and after that $60 a quarter. Let us hope she will be a raving beauty before she begins High School!
Apart from rushing back-and-forth to Dr. and dentists we have done one or two nicer things this month! Before the children went back to school we went to see a film that we all enjoyed very much “The Parent Trap”– a Walt Disney film with Hayley Mills in it – the little girl who played Pollyanna. It was very funny and the children really laughed and had a lovely time. [Linda already had the book the film was based on but decided she could live with the Americanized changes.] Afterwards we went and had a Chinese dinner – or at least Cec, Charlie and I had Chinese and Linda had roast pork!

On the very day that school began Cec and I went to hear the Red Army Choir sing. They were in Ottawa for 2 performances, and of all places they held the performances in the Auditorium – a dreadful old barn of a place where they have Ice Hockey and Circuses etc. Of course it holds a lot of people but it is due to be pulled down and it is dirty and smelly and just temporary old wooden flooring over the arena part and wooden chairs and for this we paid six dollars each. On top of this it was a roasting night and there wasn’t a slightest bit of ventilation! I sat with perspiration dripping off my brow so how the choir and dancers could stand it I don’t know – I was ashamed for Canada! The singing was wonderful and the dancing too – it was really a first class show, but Cec and I were slightly amused at the Russians singing “God Save Your Gracious Queen” and asking to send her victorious! —
Cec took Charlie to his first football Game the Sat. before last. It again was a terribly hot day and their seats were on the sunny side of the Grandstand, so it was very uncomfortable, and sad to say, Ottawa lost! Ken and Mr. Watt went with them, and old Mr. Watt thoroughly enjoyed it, sitting in his waistcoat and thick suit, and never minding the heat at all! Cec has been working away at his outside chores every weekend, but it wasn’t until this past one, that the weather was bearable. He has taken down the old clothesline and cemented me in one of those new umbrella type, that can be lifted out of its socket and brought in during the winter. Then he has replaced all the flagstones along there and cemented them and now he is painting the window frames and puttying the windows and painting the black roof trim. He has to do some work on the roof but is going to do only part this year.
My big job of course has been the Guild. [Cyn is now President of the Ladies Guild.] Our new rector and his family have arrived and are settling down. They all wear glasses, Linda says! Mr. Pulker seems very nice – a more practical man than Mr. Bowen, but not with the same charm, but I think he will be easier to work with. Mrs. Pulker is a little dark-haired lady, and reminds me a bit of Merle, and she also seems very nice and friendly, and there is a High School boy, a 12 year old girl and a 10 year old boy. We invited her to our first Exec. meeting, but she couldn’t come as there was a choir practice and she is going to help the choir. However both she and the rector came to our first Guild Meeting and seemed very pleased with it and thought the Guild was a busy bee! Both meetings went well I think, but of course I seemed to hear an awful lot of my own voice! Our first big effort is a Parish Supper to welcome the Pulkers and introduce them to the people and I am organizing this with a committee of 4, so you can imagine the phoning and to do. It isn’t only the Guild, but the Parish, so we have had to phone over 100 people and take bookings and everything. We are having it on the Pot Luck idea – each family is bringing something – a salad, pie, cake, rolls or casserole, as well as paying 25¢ per person, and with the money we are buying a turkey and a ham and cooking them and serving them cold with other things, and also milk for the children and ice cream, tea and coffee. It is our first attempt at this so I hope that it turns out all right and we have enough to eat! We are serving it Buffet style from 5:30 to 7:00 with a long serving table and eating at card tables, and by tonight we should know the numbers, which should be interesting! Greta Cooke, the treasurer, nearly made me faint by making 450 tickets, whereas I planned on about 100, but we shall see who is right!
What with the Guild meetings and going to send out notices about the supper and committee meetings, my time has vanished, so I will be glad when the supper is over next Wed. and things will be calmer – I hope. However I had coffee with Fanni this morning, and it was nice to be away from Guild for a little while. Also on Mon. evening I went to Scientist Wives Meeting, but I was very disappointed as it was supposed to be pictures of Upper Canada Village, the newly opened sort of village museum of old Canada, but instead the man just talked about it, and I’d already read so much that nothing he said was new. I took Margaret – poor Eddie is back in hospital again, and we went to visit him first. Finally last week they took x-rays of his tummy and found he had a new ulcer, and also the scar tissue on the old one which had healed had nearly obstructed the passage from the stomach so this was why he could take nothing but milk. They put him in hospital right away and are giving him some treatment – tubes down his nose to drain the acid from the stomach and a special formula every hour and are seeing if this will heal the ulcer quickly, but if not he will have to have an operation to remove part of his stomach. Isn’t this dreadful for a 16-year-old boy? Poor Margaret and Peter are so worried, and having to trail over to the Civic twice a day to see him is quite a thing too. I had the car yesterday so I took Margaret in the afternoon, but of course she doesn’t drive and it takes one hour there and one hour back by bus – if you’re lucky!
Cec and I still admire your typing and really looking at some of your older letters and then at your last the improvement is immense and I am so glad that you are persevering. I am so glad that at last you got the parcel of shoes and batteries. I always meant to tell you that I was so sorry that I had not had time to get you something for the Bazaar. What happened was that it was all done in a rush to get it off to you as soon as possible, and just after your letter and cheque came I found myself just outside your bank, which is usually out of my way, so I thought “Here is my chance – I’ll go in and cash it”. So in I marched and thought “How much will it all be?” And in my hurry I thought “Oh $10 will be enough – and Mummy said she hadn’t much money in her account!” So that is all I took out. Then when I went for the batteries they came to over five dollars I think and the shoes were about seven, so my guess wasn’t very good! However, Cec and I still owe you $50 on top of the Bond so don’t think about that, but it just happened that with the bank, the batteries and the shoes are being in different places, it took me longer than I thought to get them all, and also I couldn’t see anything much in the way of novelties, so I sent the parcel off and hoped you wouldn’t mind. The two nets were really for you, but I don’t mind a bit if you sell them at the Bazaar if you don’t need them. I just thought they might be something new. I am glad the shoes were O.K. and that hope that you will find them easier to get into as you wear them. I’m glad you approve of my scuffing them up! Linda is now wearing my shoes! She wears a five Missy and I wear a five Adult, but she puts on my slippers and is pleased as punch!
I am so glad that your supper went so well – hope that it is a good omen for ours. Ours of course is not to raise money, we just hope not to lose!
I see it is 3:30 so the children will be home soon, so I will finish this I think and answer about the Christmas parcels in my next, and now I will get this mailed. Not that I have any bright ideas about Christmas yet!
Love to Auntie Muriel & hello to Doris. Lots of love & kisses from us all to you – Cyn

I can’t imagine what you told that poor girl in Toronto about me. I have had a letter from her but haven’t answered as I don’t know what to say. I see no point in her spending her money coming to Ottawa to see me when I’ve never even met the girl. You’d better write & tell her I’ve moved to Timbuctoo!

I can only think this ungracious Post Script refers to the family mentioned a few letters back, where the mother (whom Cyn apparently knew) was settling her daughter in a job in Toronto with Bell Telephone after another had fallen through. [June 3 1961] I suppose the small circle of relatives/acquaintances in St.Vincent had encouraged Carol to assure the lonely young woman in her 20s to get in touch with her daughter who would be delighted to befriend her- but Cyn, in her 40s, busy with all her responsibilities, was anything but delighted. And I don’t think Carol realized the distances in Ontario- a bus trip to Ottawa and back on a weekend would have taken practically the whole 2 days!