Sunday 26th March, 1961

Alec to his parents:

Dear Mum and Dad

Thanks again for your latest letter. By the time you get this you will have one day to go before departure. Glad you had plenty of letters and cards for your Birthday, and could celebrate with Aston.

I agree that the weather has been far too cold to have for Easter, but it has Improved-a little over this week-end. Had the first experience of the clock going on this morning but unlike the popular programme, the clock did not beat us this time.

Sorry to hear that Don and Joan have not been too good. Not surprising that Don feels the effect of the colder weather, but they must both find it trying being both out of sorts. Note Don was well enough to go for sustinance [sic] in the afternoon so recovery cannot be long delayed.

I remember now that you visited Torquay soon after you bought the car just at the time of the first floods Also I recall how you found water lying inside.

I was not aware that Mr Hessel had married again but expect you told me and I have forgotten. Did not know that he was living opposite the station, had not seen him for many years.

Note you have some cuttings for us, we can do with some alternative colours to those we have already.

Should have thought that Don could have arranged a run-round in his place so that he could run head-on out of the gate instead of backing out every time. A periscope suitably sited would assist I should think.

Don’t know whether there is a drawing from Susan this week or no, but have seen one or two good ones on white cardboard floating around.

Don’t go scorching along to get here by l.30pm on Wednesday, but grub will await you on arrival. By the way should you find it necessary to phone, don’t forget the number is now Viking 2808.

Should imagine that following the visit to Caperns you can now claim to have heard the first Cuckoo.

Have no blossom on my plum yet but as it is a very young tree do not expect we shall see any for a-year or two.

See you have got some of the spuds in and have had a frost or two. We have been having regular white frosts mornings but I have nothing to damage except the Dahlia tubers in the shed and the indoor chrysants.

Note the fermentation lock will secure your latest brew when you are here. I put a whole oz. packet of dried yeast in the last brew, and it went into an immediate furious ferment to such purpose that at the end of one fortnight I looked at it and found that fermentation was complete. This rather put me out as I wanted to put under fermentation lock and add nutrient. I strained off the must, added a spoonful or two of sugar and put in a few drops of specially prepared wine yeast. As this will stand a higher proportion of alchohol [sic] than ordinary yeast, this started things going again. That seems to be a good way of speeding up the process.

Saw old Beeching on T.V. and thought how old and florid he looked for a mere 47 years. Hope he can mow his lawn too but no doubt there will be a queue form to help him with it now.

Sounds as though you will be getting a good crop of sunflowers this year. Bad luck about the geraniums but they are surprisingly hardy and you may save them yet.

Well will not give all the news now, will save some for Wednesday. Love from us all until then.


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