47 Glencairn Ave.
Toronto 12 Ont
May 23, 1954

Dearest artist, editor, entertainer, etc.

Your letter took just two days to get here – May 19 to 21 – isn't that nice?

Planets for Pearls. There couldn't be a more beautiful substitute, if there had to be a substitute in that shell picture. There is always some subjectivity in art anyway.

About the car – I hope you get a new one because no matter how good a 'second' is there is bound to be some undesirable quality even if it is a matter of mileage.

You told us that you wanted a smaller car as it increases parking facility and other things. Would your service man give sound disinterested advice? He ought to know.

We found our Chev (power drive) splendid and Chris says it runs like a charm but it really was too big for the garage at 47. It is a satisfaction not to be bothered with it now we have the subway which takes us to Bloor in 7 minutes. In fact as soon as I get on the train I close my eyes for a 'quiet doze' and immediately I see Bloor St. on the walls. It is a drowsy ride, quite nerve-soothing. Another point. Do you intend to get one before you come up in August?

We are spending May 24 at York Downs. I think I mentioned that pleasant and sublime fact. The Dalys are coming and perhaps Clare Hincks if he feels better. He is in one of his periodic and blackest depressions. He has always had them – a kind of manic-depressive condition, which makes him averse to activity or social gathering. This one has lasted longer than usual, but when he is well he is on top of the world.

I am now writing this note to the accompaniment of one of your tobacco brands (Drum). It fills the house with fragrance different from the attar of roses if you know the significance whereof I speak.

This is Sunday and we are lazing around the place. The temperature is 70° and it is sunny – a perfect May day. I have just finished breakfast consisting of orange juice, bacon and egg, two slices of brown toast and marmalade, one glass of skim milk, and all washed down with coffee stiffened by Nescafé, which makes me ready to fight the world, flesh, the devil and (if you will pardon the addition) yourself. No one has been spanked yet in the house – a highly exceptional omission.

I think it is time to stop just here.


Planets for Pearls
The phrase describes an etching by Claire of an oyster shell with a pearl in the centre, the whole having, to quote her, 'a rather cosmic ambience' (letter to David G. Pitt, 3 August 1987).

Glencairn Avenue.