I have sent dad news that John’s body has been found. Months elapsed before climbers spotted his body in a crevasse. During this time the police notified Paddy every time they found someone they needed to identify, either a body or someone with amnesia. This caused Paddy great suffering.
Mum’s brother George was married to Lil, an absolutely lovely woman. Every Boxing Day George and Lil had a family party that I dreaded. Auntie Lil was very warm and extroverted and she loved everything brash and colourful. He china cabinet was full of multi coloured molten glass creatures and she wanted everyone to join in with the fun… there were organised games! Gran Cis generally laughed so much that she wet her knickers. I felt inadequate self-conscious and guilty. What was wrong with me!
Mid December 73
My Dear Joy,
Oh dear. What weather we are having. Very severe gale force winds last night and today. I was glad to get home for dinner today after being buffeted and almost blown off my feet. I collected cardboard for Elmsthorpe church and after storing at work all week –I bring it in on Friday mornings- I must have brought tons of it since I started and at £5 ton I feel I m doing my little bit for a very lovely church.. Well! This morning capped it all. I’d got a monstrous pile and as fast as I loaded my wheel barrow almost cyclone winds lifted it off and flung it all over the place, over roof tops and everywhere. I was sobbing with the biting cold and frustration and after fighting and chasing the wind-whipped sheets I was able to get the bulk of it home, but I shan’t forget Friday December 14th for a very long time . And last week I brought home a huge packing case, wood over one inch thick which I broke up, stripped the nails leaving me nice good long lengths for sawing up for firewood. That’ll take some off the austerity of the present fuel crisis. Think I’ll bring in another one next week.
Enjoyed a most pleasant carol concert at Stoney Stanton last night. The little chapel was packed and almost bursting at the seams with young children and adults, Girl Guides and Brownies etc and more coming in so they had to place seats right under our noses as we were ringing. I don’t think I ever experienced anything like it in our fifty years of entertaining.. All of us were very impressed and the company did enjoy our carols on the bells. We’re out again tonight to an old folks home in Braunstone where we’ve been going the last year or so. That’s a jolly affair too with plenty of Xmas atmosphere, beer, wines etc and smashing refreshments.
Mam had her day last Friday at the Derby and Joan annual Xmas party at the centre. That event entailed a monstrous preparatory for a party of over two hundred. I called in for the concert later and wished I could have been there too. You’d have been reet proud of your mam, for how she does it I just don’t know. Whilst there are others too who ply their leader’s part admirably it is mam who is the lynch-pin-or prop as one would say. Mam was hard put to do her shopping the next day with people coming up to her with their praises.
Called to Auntie Lil on Wednesday-always a welcome there. She was asking about you and hopes to see you at Xmas. And that won’t be long now either. Advent the third on Sunday-how I love the Advent period before Xmas.
Thanks for your ever welcome –saddened however by the tragic death of Johnny. What a shock it must have been to all who knew him, what a terrible end and waste of a brilliant future…-all that learning. In similar instances how often do we read of trained mountaineering rescue people trying to impress against lone venturing without the aid of proper equipment. Perhaps a little prayer which I often say to myself sums it up best-’’Take thou my cup and it with joy or sorrow fill. It shall be still the best if but it be thy will.
Be seeing you soon and until then all our love and safe keeping as always.. Dad