Sunday 19th March, 1961

Alec to his parents:

Dear Mum and Dad

The usual weekly letter herewith also Birthday Greetings to Dad in aid of the 21st. We will hand over the present when you arrive. It only wanted Easter to be one week earlier and you would have been here to celebrate your Birthday. Well it will not be long now, must keep fingers crossed for illnesses etc. This last week end we had a spot of trouble with the girls and felt a little out of sorts ourselves, but apart from the usual minor accidents that lot has passed off now.

Glad you like the drawings, and have kept them. We shall be interested to see them as we have no continuous record of progress such as that. I have seen this week’s and it it looks a good one to me.

Hope your visit to Lyng to-day was a success. I suppose this is the first time you have made a long trip in your new car.* Should think you have got it well under control by now.

Very sorry to learn of Mr Hessel. It was obviously quick especially as you had seen him out and about the very same day. I did not know that Frank had moved to Clifton to work. Saw Doug Hand at the Walton match and he told me that he was working opposite to Frank but I thought he meant at Portishead. Sounds as though he is doing rather well.

Glad you will be able to take a couple of rose cuttings. We have had a bit of a clear up in the garden to-day, but it still looks very bare.

Could not tell you what prices are like at the ‘Aerial’, had the good sense to suggest we move on to the Towers before it became necessary to find out. Richings Park is between Ivor and Langley, but the Tower Arms is only a little way up the road from Iver Station (on the Down Side).

I see the cutting of P.G. you sent me, and very interesting it is. I have had in mind for some time using Lemon Balm, but have never had enough to use. Lemon certainly has a beneficial effect on most wines, You will be able to look out for the fennel on Church Hill. It grows high and is sprouting like cow parsley.

As you know we have lunch around the 1.0 pm mark but it will be held up till l.30 pm should you be late. I shall not be home until evening when I start my leave, but June and the children will be looking forward-to having you to lunch.

Have not cut any lawns yet – am still waiting for some of the bare patches to cover over. Took the lawn mower to pieces to-day cleaned and painted some of the parts. It will take another Sunday morning to get it back together again.

Can’t think what Don wants to have Lambretta and a car for. I know it is cheaper to run a scooter than a car but should not have thought that would make much difference to him, and a car is more comfortable. (Perhaps Joan uses it?)

I am sure Our section will get only benefit from the appointment of ‘Beeching’ to succeed Sir Brian. You may not know that I.C.I. where Beeching comes from were the pioneers in Work Study in this country and are the leading exponents by far. I saw the letter in the Telegraph from the ex Swindon Driver, but am afraid he is like so many others, prepared to condemn without a hearing.

Note Mothers competition problem, why not fill-it up with “Flowers of Sulphur“?** get more than anyone at least. Alternatively fill it up with Flowers Keg Bitter.

Well short and sweet this week, once again best wishes for 21st, and love from us all.

*[The distance according to Google Earth is roughly 37 miles each way, but the M5 hadn’t been built at this stage; let’s say it’s a 90-mile round trip, about three hours of driving … It’s no use, I still can’t make that feel like a ‘long’ journey.]

[**Once again, Alec demonstrates his propensity for being a smart-arse. It’s so tiring to have to live with over many decades; eventually the desire for straightforward communication becomes almost overwhelming. Not everything is a joke, FFS.]


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