Letters to Myself 4

216 Clydesdale Road


Nova Scotia

January 1st, 2018


Dearest Johnny-Boy

Happy New Year! It was lovely to get another letter from you. This time I found it in a book of poems I just happened to feel like reading. I have my own study with hundreds of books in it, so it was another miracle I came across it. Your handwriting is getting very good, and I could read every word.

I remember The Beano and The Dandy—I loved them, didn’t I! Did you know they both started before World War Two (and before we were born)? The Beano is still going strong today, making it almost the longest lasting children’s comic ever.

I hope you had a lovely Christmas, we did. My son, George, was here to stay from England, and two of Dorothy’s step-daughters, Susan and Cathy who live in Nova Scotia, spent the day with us. Dorothy was married before to Patrick, who died, and he had four daughters. Susan and Cathy both call me their step-dad and I call them my step-daughters! (You may need help from mummy to figure that one out). We had a Christmas tree, and George played Santa and handed out all the presents. I gave him my silver christening mug and another silver cup with my name and date of birth on it. It was a good way to hand on some of my treasures that I’ve had all my life.

Last year on October 6th, Dorothy and I had our eleventh wedding anniversary. I was married before too, but I’ll tell you all about that later, and about how Dorothy and I met. It’s a lovely story. Not long ago we went back to London for the 50th anniversary of my becoming a doctor in1966! Oh, I haven’t told you I was a doctor for forty years, have I? Mummy will be very happy to hear it, because in the last letter she wrote to me she said she thought I would be a doctor, like Dad and Uncle Ken. We spent a whole day at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, and had a grand lunch with lots of speeches. The hospital is often called Barts for short, and is one of the very oldest in the world, dating from 1123, when King Henry I was on the throne. It is very near St Paul’s Cathedral, and it’s where I was a student (the same place as Dad and Uncle Ken). There were almost a hundred other people there for the anniversary—most of them had been students with me. I hadn’t seen any of them almost since I left, so we had to introduce ourselves and say a bit about what we’d been doing for all this time. I’m sorry to say I didn’t remember most of them, but that’s what happens when you get older.

We stayed with George, who lived till recently in London with my half-sister, Sarah (I’ll tell you more about her later too). After that, we went to see my daughter, Kate, and my grandson, Joshua, who is eighteen and goes to an art school, in a town called Brighton. Brighton is a seaside town like Weston, but quite a bit bigger. It’s in Sussex on the south coast of England and easy to get to by train from London. Then we took a ferry to Holland and a train from Amsterdam all the way to Munich in the south of Germany. We had a lovely time, but I won’t tell you all about our holiday there, because that could take a long time, and that’s enough for this letter.

Write again soon! I love you lots and lots,

John xxx


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