Friday 17th July 1959

Alec to his parents:

Dear Mum and Dad

Just the expected letter to let you know that we arrived home safely after a very good trip. I suppose we got indoors about 12-30 p.m. We were delayed a while getting one of the bags into the Left Luggage Office due to a queue. Unfortunately the automatic machine was full. We travelled back to Paddington with Ernie Iles. He says that his eldest is now 21 and youngest is 13 and doing very well at swimming. Carol went to sleep for about 50 minutes so that helped to pass the time of the journey very well. Susan was quite good which was not surprising as I read the whole of one Noddy book to her on the way up. I am afraid that she was very naughty after we got back and continually got herself into trouble. I expect that it was reaction after the long journey. They are all talking about the storm last Friday. It appears that it was extremely severe lasting for about eight hours. All the earth has been pressed flat where the raindrops fell. Most of my stuff seems to be still alive although slugs have had more than half of the young French Marigolds that I planted out in the front. Oddly enough they have left those at the back alone. Three of the Dahlias are out in flower and the rest are well budded. All the flowers so far are red. Three of the Mesembryanthemums are out, one is pink while the other two are a salmon colour. As a result of the heavy rain one more of Geoff’s missing Dahlias has come up, this time one of those I planted out the front. That makes 100% of those put in front garden and 0% of those planted in the rockery at the back. Have cut the lawns which are looking quite green. I expect that It is due to the spread of clover which certainly seems to cover a larger area than hitherto. The new people moved into Whites house to-day. They appear to have two children a couple of years older than Susan. I took them ( Ours ) down to the park this afternoon while June was shopping. We took the horse for Carol and the Bike for Susan and of course the Push Chair. Carol was pushed, all the way to the park by Susan. When we got there I gave Carol the horse and pointed her in the general direction of Ruislip Manor and let her loose. She scampered over the grass and had a whale of a time. After about five minutes of this, she dropped down on the grass then picked herself up and tried to walk on her own. She took about three half steps then fell on her face. This was repeated about four times and again on the way back. It will not be long before she can stay up for a step or two. Susan had a go on the swings and on the big horse. When we were down in the garden to-day Susan called me over saying “whats this Daddy?” When I arrived I found it was a large white caterpillar which was towards moving her. I told her what it was and said “did you see one of those at the Zoo “ to which she replied “No, but I saw a Snakelider ” What that might be Ileave to you. Have planted out some Petunias and some Gailardias to-day. Found a Petunia about to flower in the middle of the lawn. Of course I transplanted it as it was far more advanced than any of the ones that I brought on from seed. Had a taste of the Blackcurrant wine I made in 1958 ( May ) If you remember, I gave you some when you came up last ‘Summer and again when you came up this Spring, The taste has changed again and is even more palatable than before. I am also getting through the Rhubarb wine that was made last June. I think you have finished up the lot that I gave you. I have another quart bottle of it under the floor boards. Well I cannot say much more now as have not had time to do much since returning. Must of course thank you once again for the most enjoyable holiday and for fixing up the Parson and for putting up Pauline. The next visit unless anything untoward occurs will be you to us, and will leave you to decide when that will be. Apart from the assumption that you will not want to travel in dead of Winter due to possible weather conditions, the choice is open to you. If you feel It too early to be definite you may like to hint at a possible month when you would like to come up. Will close now with love from us all.


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