[Banff, 13 August 1952]
We got in yesterday morning uneventfully, went to the Cascade Hotel where we shall remain till Friday morning. Then we go to a suite in the Arts School.
The three nights trip on the train (I must confess) did not produce much slumber in the profound sense of that term, but we hope to make it up under less 'rocking' conditions. The word 'rocking' does not imply the cradle idea. Rather it is used in the pugilistic sense when a boxer 'rocks' his opponent back on his heels or crashes him against the ring posts. My head is slightly aching from the train jolts around corners plus starting and stopping the way the inexperienced drivers on the Toronto street cars do it. However, we are recovering by means of the Banff scenery.
Tomorrow night I have to give my 'spiel.' I think it will be quite gaseous and vapoury.
I hope you enjoyed the Buffalo trip and that you got back on Sunday before dark.
Don't bother about looking for more raspberries. There are none left. I snitched the last one precisely at 6 p.m. Saturday.
And as for bacon and eggs, don't worry about that kind of larder. Since Sunday morning till now I have devoured 24 rashers of bacon and a dozen eggs; so I need a respite. It will be quite satisfactory to peer into a refrigerator vacuum on Aug. 23 for once.
We had a letter from Dorothy containing some excerpts from A.J.M. Smith's (Critically Speaking) address last Sunday night. They were very encouraging.
Mother and I weighed in yesterday. The four days trip accounted for three pounds and two ounces respectively mine 159, hers 110 and those 2 ounces. By the time I return you won't know who it is coming down the stairs, Winnie or yours faithfully and ponderously. The Banff air has something to do with it I think.
I wish you could be here to paint Cascade Mountain with its great avalanche furrows through the spruces. The mountain is just at the end of the main street of the town.
We visited the museum and the three things which attracted my attention most were a cougar, a bald-headed eagle, and (would you believe it?) a gigantic crow. I gazed fondly (though with mixed feelings) at the crow stuffed double its normal size and murmured reflectively, 'thank Heaven its cawing days are over.' There was, however, a slight strain of nostalgia which I am almost ashamed to confess, but I think it was mainly the thought of 21 Cortleigh Blvd. which I shall be glad to see again and your sweet self.
Father a long distance off and in a reminiscent mood.