Letters to Myself 11


47 Bristol Road



July 20th, 1951


Dear John,

Thank you for your last letter. It was great to hear about all the books in the Narnia Chronicles. Mummy took me to the book shop the day the second book, “Prince Caspian”, came out. I’m reading it every night in bed and I can’t wait to find out what happens. I like Aslan, too, and Lucy, the youngest of the four children. She is the only one who can see Aslan, at least to begin with.

I have to take piano lessons, because Mummy thinks then I will be able to play as well as her when I grow up. Grandma Jackson is paying for my lessons, and when she comes to tea (which is at least every week), I have to play something for her. But once she has gone home, I know I can slack off with practice, for a good few days at least. But I liked going on the paddle steamer with Grandma and Mummy and my sisters to Cardiff, which is in Wales and where Mummy was born. The paddle steamer was called “Ravenswood”, which is the same as our house, Mummy said it was like home from home.

We went to see Auntie Jessie in Newport which is near Cardiff. She is Grandma’s sister, and she has a nectarine tree. I ate a nectarine and it was delicious. Then we went for a drive with Uncle Ron, who is one of Mummy’s cousins. He has a Daimler, and he drove it at a 100 miles an hour, or almost. The only other car I have ever driven in was the MG sports car Buster took Jane and me on holiday to Devon in. That was pretty exciting too, but he didn’t drive as fast as Uncle Ron, I expect because the roads were very narrow. Sometimes Buster had to stop and back up to let a lorry going the other way get past.

The only other fruits I have ever had are apples and pears, and only because we have our own apple tree and pear tree. Oh, and loganberries from our bushes near the front gate in Autumn. We have had rationing since the war, which means that there are only a few fruit at the greengrocers, and they are very expensive. We get packets of dried bananas from America, but I’ve never had a real banana. We all have ration books, and can only have a small amount of sweets, and one egg and either lamb or pork once a week. At school we have spam for lunch twice a week with scrambled eggs made from powdered eggs, which I hate. We have to finish everything on our plates, so sometimes we stuff it in our coat pockets and throw it out on the way home. I hate the fish pie on Fridays especially, and always stuff that in my pockets when the teachers aren’t looking.

We have a wireless now, and listen to it when we are having supper in the kitchen. I like the comedy programmes best, especially “Round the Horne” on Thursdays and “Much Binding in the Marsh” on Tuesdays. Mummy likes to listen to “Mrs Dale’s Diary” every morning. It’s about this doctor’s wife, and almost every day she starts off saying, “I’m worried about Jim!”

At the end of term, I’m going to go to Yorkshire for a holiday with Uncle Ken and Auntie Joan. He is a doctor as well, and they live right in the middle of a big coalmining area, so most of his patients are coalminers and their families. I’m very excited because they have a television, so it will be my first time seeing one.

I will write again after I get home.

Love, Johnny-Boy