24th Feb, 1958
We were pleased to hear from you, at least , Elsie & I were, & Annie will be – she is still abroad; in Whangarei this time, minding Ian’s household while he and Gwen are on a holiday jaunt via Napier, Wellington& then I dunno where. Hugh & Hilda are due today, with the dust (now mud, since the rains) of Howick shaken from their feet. At least I hope so – less floor scrubbing. Maybe your folks told you Hugh is coming to be secretary of John Courts, Ltd., Whg. While the summer lasts (or if?) he & Hilda will live in his house cottage here, but they think we will have to build still another garage as our new one is full of their stuff. And the largest lots still in Barnie’s basement at Howick. We’ll work that one out.
The population over there must be very interesting. Here is your chance to build up your languages – not the bad of course, I’ll help you with that. I suppose Robbie gets giddy amongst them all. But it really must be good for him to get practical experience, such a different effect usually from the result of the theoretical language learning. But how does one know if one’s foreign conversation-ee is producing the wrong accent – some sort of Cockney French or German or such, if you know what I mean.
How did you like Sydney? Were you impressed by Our ‘Arbour? And the city traffic? Last time I was there I stayed at Kirribilli, across the harbour , not far from the end of the bridge – we could hear the dull roar of the traffic, like distant thunder. I was impressed by the fact that it took only 5 mins to get there from Circular Quay. All those kids we had here have used all my air-mail paper, so being a Scot I have to use both sides of this. It will likely be in time to take you our birthday greetings. I hope you have a really happy day, and many more to follow. I just laid down my pen & took off my shoes & calculated your age. Gee! you are getting on! Any grey hairs? Anyway you are the little chicken that went out to see the world now, and I hope you will find it an interesting place. I think you will.
Please remember me to Robbie. I’m sure Annie would like to be included in that.
She knew & liked his mother. She saw Peggy not long ago & got some news of them all. But I’m sure they keep Robbie posted.
Again very many happies. Write again when you have time.
Love from the ant
Did I tell you that I once found my story in the Listener list – The Ant that didn’t Like Work