Mam and dad were so kind to Bill Jacques. My dad’s sister Ivy was a very timid woman and she said that her husband Bill bullied her for years. Dad and his other sister Hilda persuaded Ivy to go to court for a divorce. Bill threatened her and in court she refused to testify against him. In retrospect this may explain why years earlier he greeted dad and I with,’ Bugger off,’ every Sunday when we visited after church. Every Sunday he sat in their tiny cottage at the living room table reclaiming tobacco from a pile of dog-ends. Using his Rizla papers and cigarette machine he made a pile of ‘new’ cigarettes. Dad disregarded all of this and bombarded him with cheery talk which met with grunts and sour looks.
186h November 73 [before the parcel arrived]
Well, that’s another chapter ended I thought to myself as I knocked off work today and I don’t think I’ll get round to planting a tree in 73 either. Unlike Chris who’ll be leaving his roaring twenties on the same day., birthdays have little significance for me now-a –days. . Far better to take one day at a time and to be thankful for everything the good Lord sends than to get into a sentimental soak. For these and other mercies I really am very thankful-and contented too when all is well with those near and dear to me.
So much for birthdays-I’ve just had Auntie Sylvia delving deep into the past whilst mam and Auntie Win were across at the church cleaning the altar brasses. On and on she went, diving deep and bringing up the same age worn relics like a cat that’s licked the cream when all I wished for was my after dinner snooze.
Although it’s a nice sunny day it is much too cold for gardening and I am better employed as I am-though there is little enough to tell.
I brought across another huge stack of cardboard from work in aid of Elmsthorpe church. In the three or four years I have been doing it I must have collected tons. At £5 a ton that makes a wee contribution towards a very beautiful little church.
Chris came home on Monday saying he had heard how poorly old Bill Jacques was so I went to see him after dinner. I was really shocked to see him so poorly. He was in bed, a travesty of his former sturdy self, shrinking frame and emaciated face. I stayed a while until a kind neighbour brought him a jug of tea.
The rest of this letter is missing.