Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Letter - to David's Mother Mary - From Pennie - London - 23.5.1970

                                                                                                                               c/o Bank of N.S.W.
                                                                                                                               9-15 Sackville Street.
                                                                                                                               London.  U.K.
                                                                                                                               May 1970
Dear Mum-in-law,

     Well I've plucked up the courage and had it done, the photo is a very bad one, too dark but it gives you some idea of what the new Pennie looks like, that's my new red plastic mac we bought in Belgium for £4.  Dave prefers me with short hair and it will be a lot easier to travel with in the next six months.

      Tabitha Taxi was taken down to Southampton yesterday ready for her big sea voyage, she doesn't seem to be worried about it at all, she should like Australia if it's not too hot when she arrives about the end of June, if my memory serves me right.  That's winter back home of course, we'll be in Japan by then and it will be Summer.

     We leave next Wednesday for Denmark so we're pretty busy saying goodbye to all our friends every night is booked up till we go so I've got the job of writing all the letters, we haven't heard from Keith* for ages but he knows when we arrive, and it all depends on how long we can afford to stay in the States.  We've got invites to stay in San Francisco with Louis and Shelia Daugherty and baby Eugene, we met them in Belgrade, they were doing the same thing as us only in a V.W. Combi Van, we went through Hungary and met them again in Austria, we hope they will get to the U.K. before we leave but if not we'll see them in the U.S.A.  Also an invitation to stay with Ted and Penny Charlesworth in Vancouver, we met Ted and Penny in Dubrovnik while we were waiting for Trevor and Mary-Liz.  Ted and Penny and two children (9 & 10) took one year off and have been right round the world, they should be in Australia by now, they were only going to Queensland so we couldn't give them our addresses.

     We didn't meet up with Trevor and Mary-Liz but had a letter not long ago from them from Dubrovnik, they'd arrived three days too late, by that time we were in Sarajevo so now we won't see them till they get back home in a few years or however long they intend to stay over.

     Mrs Waugh is looking after us very well but it is very difficult to be so tied down to someone as far as meals go when we have been our own bosses for so long, she shows us off to everyone, takes us here and there to meet someone who has a cousin who's sister-in-law knows someone who used to live in such and such a place in Australia and so it goes on.  She is very kind and she says she will miss us when we go, and she will poor dear, what with Christine very happy in Perth and Peter about to go back to Australia any minute and no Grandchildren, (her main wish) to fuss over, she will be very quiet. **    Mr Waugh*** hasn't been very well and he looks awful but he's devoted every spare minute of his life to his shop which doesn't even belong to him and never will, you can't expect more.

     Glad you thought Mr Gallagher was a sweetie, so do I, he has the most marvelous soft Irish accent it would put anyone in a trance, parsnips or no parsnips.****

     This was just a short one before we get moving we will send the postcards and letters when we can afford them.

     Love to Dad, Andrew and Julia.   Pennie
P.S.  Dave sends love and says my hair looks beaut.

* Keith is Mary's oldest brother, he married an American girl and they lived in Carmel, California.  We intended to go home when we got to Tokyo but he wrote and told us he'd make it worth our while to come to the States to visit him, we were assuming that meant he would find us some work.

** Christine went back to England after a couple of years, before she became an Australian Citizen, she need an operation on her knees because of an accident she'd had during her teens.  Her engagement broke up before they arrived in Australia.  Peter only made one brief visit to Australia.  Elsie wanted her children to live in Surrey and they weren't game to deny her.  Elsie was well into her 80's before Peter gave her grandchildren.

*** Rupert Waugh died about a year after we left, he worked at 'Bernards', a bacon, sausage and cheese shop up the top of North Street, Guildford.

****  We stayed with the Gallagher's a couple of times in Warwickshire, she was an old school friend of Mary's and they were very welcoming.  Mr was a Dr and was trying hypnotherapy.  I was worried about putting on weight with all this stodgy English food, so he offered to hypnotize me.  He needed to know what food I really didn't like and all I could think of was Grandma Rodd's horrible Parsnips that we had to eat.  Needless to say his hypnotherapy didn't work, maybe because I deliberately hadn't eaten a parsnip for so many years I'd forgotten what they tasted like  :-)

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