21.8.69 [Typewritten again; must have connected with my portable typewriter again]
Dead Mum, I presume this is the day before you go back to out-patients, but like a ninny, I’ve just realised that this won’t get to you until after everything has been seen to, so there’s little use in my saying good luck, is there? Much better if I go to Mass tomorrow for you ˗ that’s a much quicker system than these letters! I hope anyway that the energetic life you’re going to lead isn’t going to be too strenuous ˗ just as well you don’t drink or we’d have you (by doctor’s orders, of course) out getting stoned (and probably stoney broke as well) merely in order to get rid of a very rude little stone that’s had the temerity to outstay his welcome! (UGH! sez mother.) You haven’t gone and dug over the potato patch, have you? No? Good ˗ just thought you might perhaps try to find a twin for the one you’ve already got. (Actually in spite of your injunction to treat this whole episode lightheartedly, don’t get the impression I’m not concerned about you, will you? As Reg says I am pretty placid ˗ I think it bothers him sometimes; when he gets more concerned about me than I do! ˗ but I’m not stoney-hearted, and though I don’t let it worry me too much (you and I know there’s only one Being around that really gets worried about these things ˗ we’ll leave the worrying to Him, in fact) I do remember you all the time in my prayers ˗ even more than usual, in fact ˗ so you should come through all right. What with the care of the best doctors you’ve ever seen and a little fifth dimensional care as well, you’ll be fine in no time!)
I’ll probably set about job-hunting today, though on the other hand I might give my foot a rest if poss. It hasn’t had much time to relax since I came back to London ˗ never knew I did quite so much walking. The big trouble probably was that because Kevin was to leave yesterday, on Tuesday I met him (and also eventually the two Tithers) and we spent the afternoon and evening doing little else but walking, it seemed. We actually went to a not over-funny piece of film called MonteCarlo or Bust in the afternoon, then met up with Mike in a pub somewhere. And finally when Kathy arrived (several hours later it must have been!) we went and had a rather nice meal in a place I rather like between Piccadilly and Trafalgar Square. (I’m slowly accumulating nice ˗ and reasonable ˗ eating places all over London; though I must start doing my own cooking too, soon.) And after that we went and had a few more drinks (we all remained delightfully sober!) and eventually wound up looking for one of those little cubicles where you can have your photo taken for 2/6 ˗ four photos, in fact. We squashed the four of us into the booth, and when the photos finally came out, they showed nearly always a huge Kathy face, a perpetually grinning Flaherty face, a Hitler-like Tither face and an almost non-existent Crowl face. Except in the last one (which was the one I kept) where I was in the process of pushing Kathy’s head a little further down in order to be seen ˗ and the camera has caught a huge hand apparently covering Kathy’s head entirely!
Kevin that night went back and stayed at Mike’s, and I went and caught the last tube home to Finsbury Park. Normally I would than catch a bus to Bethune Rd, but I’d missed the last of those and was about to do some more walking, when I discovered that I couldn’t make out which way to go from the road-map that was very conveniently placed for people going in every direction but mine. A taxi-driver stopped to deliver something on his way home, and I asked him if he could tell me the way to Manor Road. (The bus normally goes almost direct to this street, but the street is called three different things in its various parts, and I couldn’t recall the name of the one that it was to begin with.) He said he was going very near there and told me to jump in so I did and he took me within a couple of recognizable blocks of home! For free! The people round here generally seem to be just that much more friendly than those in the South or East of London. Which is rather nice.
I’m getting used to the flat again, and slowly accustoming myself to the Ascot gas water heater going off like a little Atomic bomb noise everytime I turn the water on. They are apparently not supposed to be installed in as small a place as a bathroom, but both this one and the one at the Syrus home are, and if they can have put up with this sort of explosion for so many years so can I, I dare say. There seems to be quite a collection of people coming and going as well ˗ apart from those who live here (I haven’t seen Ian since Monday, Kathy only once ˗ on Wednesday, I think! [Kathy Bird, not Tither]) ˗ in fact some of those I’ve seen here seem as much at home as I do. I think one of them sleeps here, but I’ve no idea where!! I knew it would quite likely seem a lot less crowded than one would think with five living here.
I meant to finish off the Kevin story. I met him at Mike’s yesterday morning to help him carry his bags to Victoria (and wound up returning with his umbrella, which he decided at the last minute would be too much of a nuisance) and he wasn’t feeling too happy and I wasn’t much better, though I tried, and he seemed quite miserable when he finally left. I had some time to fill in so I went into one of those continuously showing theatres where they had a mixture of cartoons and news etc. The last film was about giraffes, and if it hadn’t been for the fact that I was about to leave, I would have sat there silently bawling my eyes out! The men in this film wanted two giraffes for a Zoo and [handwritten] though they were obviously all good fellers the animals were just so philosophical about it all and just stood there taking it all in and pretending not to be homesick at all! [Not sure whether I was going to bawl my eyes out because Kevin was going back to New Zealand, for good, or because of the homesick animals! Maybe both: Kevin and I had been friends since the third form at High School.]
Mrs Syrus might be quite pleased to hear from you. She wrote to say how much she liked the flowers ˗ sounded a bit like one of your letters! 39 Newgate Rd, St Leonards-on-Sea.
Don’t seem to need Stoke Newington on the address, the N 16 is the important one.
I’m financially fine ˗ re Francisco. Love Mike.