Sunday 26th August, 1962

Alec to his parents:

Dear Mum and Dad

Well here we go again. First of all thank you both very much for a very nice holiday. We had a most enjoyable time although it goes without saying that the weather could have been kinder. As you know we were not restricted very much because of it, and we were able to do most of the things we wanted to do except sit in the sun. At least we had a taste of the latter on the Saturday we went to Weston. Pictures were returned from the film people yesterday and I am glad to say that with one notable exception they all came out well. I got 38 good slides out of a roll that had nominally 36 on it plus 1 misfire. The misfire unfortunately was the one of mother holding the kite on the Sands at Weston. It looks as though the light got into the camera as there was considerable fogging of the picture. However the shots that followed all came out well so it cannot be said that Mother’s face broke the camera.

Delph and Roy came round yesterday afternoon for some spare cactus cuttings. I gave them the duplicates from the box we brought back. We put the pictures through the projector and had our first view of them while they were here. Later after it was dark we ran through them again. It is much better to see the pictures screened when no light can get into the room from outside. Some of the views were excellent as were also donkey scenes, roundabouts, Mobos and spaceship.

As June has told you we had a fairly good run back. We made very good time to Marlborough where we stopped for half an hour. If I recall we arrived there at 3:45 p.m. I missed the turning at Keynsham to go to Walmley and therefore went through Bath. I found it not nearly so difficult as I expected. From Marlborough to Slough we were well up on a four and a half hour schedule, but for some while I had been conscious of real or imagined difficulty in turning the car at any speed over about 20 mph. Indeed I had to reduce speed at roundabouts much more than the cars following me in order to get round. This presented its own problems as most of the followers did not expect me to slow down so much and were practically standing on my tail light. Once off the M4 I decided to get off the A4 as soon as possible and have a look at the tyres in case they had lost pressure, and at the load in case it has shifted. In the event I found nothing wrong, but I had turned off on a road that I did not recognise. It took me into Burnham Beeches where all roads look alike, and are equally familiar to me, so that we went round in circles for a bit. I eventually decided to break the deadlock by going to Gerrards Cross and picking up the Western Avenue there. There was a short queue to get onto the Western Avenue and a steady two lane traffic jam going in our direction. Of course we had to go along with it until we got to Swakeley’s Road. The result was that we took five hours in actual running time.

I am afraid the roof rack has marked my roof. It has scraped the paint off the top in a couple of places where the crossbars touched. June’s case also suffered in transit by having a small chunk dug out by one of the boxes which we loaded on top. All else travelled well and all the eatables – except the shallots – have been assimilated. I planted out the three buddleia the evening we got back, and well watered them in. The one we put in the Lewis’s bag took immediately and is growing practically unchecked. The other two have both received severe setbacks. The largest has not revived but still has one pair of short very limp but still green leaves. I think there is a chance that these two mean that life is still present. The same applies to the other plant.

Had a couple of new tyres fitted to the front wheels of the car yesterday. I must say it looks better for the deed, and handles better. I have not checked the pressure they put in yet.

We found the lawn had grown about four inches or so while we were away, and I had to set to on the Monday and cut the back ones. I have not so far touched the front although that badly wants it. The lawns want cutting again now. Our tomatoes have made good progress and all have fruit on them. The fruit is full-size and wants ripening off. One of the plants near the wire, the next by the gate, has an almost ripe tomato on it. Carol has already got her eye on it.

As you know the girls both travelled well. We had no recurrence of the trouble we were having a few short months ago.

How is the bath/reservoir system going?

Our new neighbours have as yet not returned. We do not know when they will be back.

Glad you were able to fit the new catch – sorry you had such a job with it. I imagined your biggest trouble would have been to align the keyhole.

Your gardening going apace again after our interruption. Not an awful lot of watering wanted at this time of the year though I suppose as the beans are getting towards finish now. Hedges of course want plenty of attention. I think that fences are a better bet although from time to time they want a bit of attention. Fences are more expensive, but make a neater job, and usually stay in one place.

I understand the trowel etc. have been in operation, but I have not seen it myself. I filled their flower pots with earth and planted a couple of small cactus therein. This was all good stuff and highly appreciated. Susan had her instructions about watering etc, and the pots were put in the dining room window. However the next day I found that she had taken them out and repotted them losing one of the cacti in the process and replacing with Mind-your-own-business which has since died. All good fun of course.

I agree with you that work goes badly after a fortnight off. It takes me a long time to get back into my stride as I have too many assignments to visit even if I went to a different one each day. I have still to visit Acton, Reading and Newbury. Of course I expected wholesale changes to be made when I was away and I’m not disappointed.

Have been having a little trouble with Susan this morning. She says she is not well and is playing up. We cannot get out of her where she is ill, first it is the tummy, then the ear, then the head. I do not think it is anything that a good dose* and a short walk could not put right.

We put a new piece of lino down in the kitchen yesterday and June is just filling in the odd bits. Of course Delph and Roy had to arrive while we were in the middle of it.

By the way please thank Mr Bushell for his attention to the car. It is working well and th irregularity we noticed is almost eliminated.

I suppose you have both had a good long sleep after we went to get back some of the energy expended. There is a fine old wind blowing now and the bushes at the bottom are swaying about. Yesterday it was windy also and a cold nip although I would not say it was unhealthy weather. Apples seem very large and I am wondering when it will be time to pick them.

Well there it is again I do not think there is much more to tell you this week. If I have forgotten anything it will keep till next week. There is one thing though. On Friday Susan and Carol took themselves off to the shops against instructions and took with them their money. They came back with two packets of stick-on paper as per the evidence attached. They were sent early to bed.

Love from us all once more. 


“Speak roughly to your little boy
and beat him when he sneezes!
he only does it to annoy,
because he knows it teases!”

(Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s