Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Letter - to David's mother Mary - 'Himalaya' - 7.11.1970

At Sea, one day into Suva. Friday 6th November 1970

Hello Mum, Dad, Andrew and Doodie,

   I guess this is my last letter to you for some time - happily the need will cease a week from today, and we're looking forward hugely to the big event.

  High on our minds today is the shopping spree on duty free bits in Suva - a good tape recorder, an adding machine ordered by Pen's Mum (we owe her $40 on account of duty paid on Tabitha), a camera for a Phelan cousin, maybe a set of field glasses if reasonably $'d.  We should have suggested a lot earlier that you tell us if you wanted something, a little transistor or whatever.  But we've tried to pick up a little goodie for each family member somewhere along our route.  Also picked up duty free grog (liqueurs) on board, all helps to moisten the coming revels.

  The ship is O.K.  - very full, mainly with very oldies - apparently all from Redfern and Newtown or England, but a few Canadians got on in Vancouver so we have made some good friends amongst them.

  We cannot get a cabin to ourselves - at times it's even hard to find two seats in the lounge, but it's wonderful outdoors weather, and deck tennis/pool etc.  activities are A1!  So expect to see us in the pink of condition - Pen somewhat weightier than before  (she told me to say that).  We have a superb table waiter, who must be the most attentive ever, and a good cabin steward.  My German cabin mate and I carry on desultory conversations in German, while Pennie's (also German, (speaks English) does nothing but sleep.

    From Pennie - Yesterday we crossed the Equator, there was a special ceremony, people were splatted with red and green muck and thrown into the pool with Dead Fish!  Thank goodness they emptied and cleaned the pool later.  I've been walking two miles a day lately, six times around 'A' Deck makes a mile.  In less that a week we will see you.

   Love Pennie and David xx

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