Alec to his parents:
Dear Mum and Dad
Once again your weekly letter to hand for which many thanks. Glad the postman managed to call on the 27th ult. Hope all received satisfactorily.
Yes I allowed Susan and Carol to have a go on typewriter last week, but found the thing all upside down this week (both literally and figuratively). The machine (packed back in case by Auntie Eileen) was upside down, and some of the settings at the back had been moved so that could only type about one inch then stop. They can have another go sometime, but not this week as we have a bit of a hustle on. That was Susan’s idea for the longhand. I am not sure if they have started to do that at school yet.
The heat certainly takes it out of one when it comes as such a quick change. I must say the last couple of days here have been marvellous. I had Friday off this week and by gum it was hot. I gather that Roy took Delph and Pauline out to Chorleywood on Sunday of last week, and had his second accident with the new car. It appears that someone bumped into him from behind after he had stopped quickly in a narrow road. This is about the fourth time that has happened to him. Should think he would learn to drive within a more gradual braking distance now. Mrs Baker still doing pretty well. We went over to see them yesterday and found things much the same. Peter and Pauline have been mending the wall which had broken down. They have about got it half done with bricks that came out of the wall originally. They will have to get some bricks from somewhere as what are left are only brickbats.
Sorry about your garden. Had thought you would be in better shape. Ours of course is nothing to write home about at the best of times, so the winter weather has not affected us much. Buddleia now at the top of the fence – about one month earlier than last year. Hope it will go on my higher yet as we have no roses there this year.
I hope your day today goes well and visitors arrive on time. We are having June’s friends Les and Barbara with their daughter Jill arriving sometime later this morning. We have not seen them for quite some time now although I forget how long it has actually been.
Yes the mower at the bottom went on for a long time after I commented on it. I think that it only had the blades powered, and man had to push it manually. If so that probably explains why he was at it so long. What with that and his yapping dog, it was a case of “One man went to mow” with a vengeance.
We were not very surprised about the gas bill at number 17 as it was no more than to be expected that it would be a very high both because of the cold weather, and the builders’ men who had to have heat on for drying out cement etc. in a hurry before occupation.
Spoke to Susan about the spearmint, and asked her where mine was. She said it had all been eaten. I told her that you cannot eat spearmint, so she said ‘well anyway we have taken the taste out of it’.
Last time car had a clean was so long ago that I cannot remember. It wanted doing very badly. I have got chrome back on wheel hubs, but it took about two hours on that alone.
Nothing much new in the radio line for stop I have been at Retford all week so little was done. I shall be there again next week so not much likely that week either. Have had a small modulator lent me and coupled it to the transmitter yesterday, but cannot make it work properly yet. When okay I shall be able to transmit speech. So far have got as far as Greenford with it but output so low as to be useless from a practical point of view.
Sweet peas doing very well and the two lots of beans are up. Have put the runners next to the garage and the broad ones down in the plot. The latter will probably not come to anything as put in too late, but it will give the girls something to watch.
We did not see any special service for the Scouts etc. this end. There may have been one, but we were not aware of it.
I will keep the old W.R. News for your next visit, but please remind me or I may forget to take them home.
I suppose the cruise is nearly over by now. Hope they had good weather.
Did you manage to keep any cuttings of the bronze chrysanth brought back from us? All ours are gone now.
Interested to hear about the closure of the Goods. Also noted the remarks in the paper for which many thanks.
Your piping job quite extensive then. Had no idea you were on that game. Cannot understand mum’s remarks on the subject last week.
Some bean row to all accounts. I wonder what the average crop from one bean sown happens to be. Have you kept any such stats and if so can you forecast your probable crop in advance? (Not quite the same as counting chickens.)
We had a picture show last Sunday but it was quite hot so we did not set up the usual trappings, by just held the projector fairly near the wall in the dining room and had the pictures about 18″ inches to 2 ft across.
Only local sides played at Chorleywood. I think I have played there but not altogether sure. I have played on most grounds in and around London.
I do not know if there is anything in Sylglas that would harm fish. If so it would be necessary to let Sylglas weather for quite a while before letting any fish in. Not a bad idea, but a bit difficult to apply I should have thought.
On Friday feeling a little energetic, I went over to the field with barrow and cleared about eight full loads of earth. This I dumped at bottom of garden and have since sieved a lot onto right-hand lawn. This is to provide something more than rocks for the grass to grow in and also to level up to the path. Could only work at it for a couple of hours after which the heat put paid to it. Had another go yesterday and got one more load but the quality of soil not so good so did not get any more. I’ve got some grass seed ready to plant, but have a bit more earth to save before the levels are right. Our one solitary sunflower – now hardened off – is growing quite well. Slugs not causing much trouble now or else I have put paid to them. It could be of course that they have vacated all the food I have provided for them and moved on somewhere else.
Good news about your garden produce, sounds as if things are just reading reaching the eating stage. We shall have to call.
Well I must close this letter now as I think you have all the news. The girls like their postcards by the way, and Susan took hers to show her teacher. She has been on to me for some time to take her to Walton Castle* when next we visit Clevedon.
So for now, love from us all.
*Nothing like as posh sixty years ago as it is now; it was probably just a private house at that time.