47 Glencairn Ave.
Toronto 12, Ont.
Wednesday [9 June 1954]

Dear Cakie:

It was so pleasant to hear that warbling of the hermit thrush last night. It was a coincidence that your mother was just raising the receiver to call when you called.

The arrangements are fine. You do what you like so long as you don't have too much bother mucking around. The Bushes and the Havelocks are O.K. with us for one evening; but I should like to have at least two dinners at the Bellevue as I stated in my last letter. I'll bring along enough 'Kale' to cover all expenses and a bit left over for you for Plymouth gas, etc. etc.

If there is anything you would like me to take with me let me know. I am bringing a painting of Dr A.P. Coleman's for you – a lovely picture of Marjorie Pickthall's house. I would bring her desk but it is four feet high and I would have to carry it on my slender shoulders – so that's out of the question. It seemed to weigh a ton when we carried it into the house that day.

Tomorrow afternoon I go to the C.B.C. to have a recorded interview with Ron Hambleton who is also having interviews with Healey Willan and Ernest MacMillan. The records are to be placed in the National Library of Ottawa. My interview is already done and I think I served up a lot of eyewash about my early days and so on.

Yesterday I spent most of the morning, getting clothes out of the cupboards, putting them up on the line, and then spraying them with flytox. You mustn't, however, get the notion that your mother didn't have a hand in the business. She did – but I did the most work, at least so it seemed to me. There is to be another day at it. Would it were over!

Now I go down to the Bellevue by taxi when I get in, so you can get in touch with me in the afternoon.

Father, soon on his way to Boston

For his proposed visit to Boston while Viola was in Quebec.

Paper money.

her desk
Helena Coleman had inherited Pickthall's desk upon her death in 1922. When Coleman died in 1953, she left the desk to Claire Pratt, who later donated it to the Edith and Lorne Pierce Canadiana collection in Queen's University Library.

a lot of eyewash
Following preliminary interviews (see the letter to Claire Pratt, 2 June 1954), a written outline had been prepared for the interview to be broadcast as part of the series 'An Experience of Life' (22 January 1955). His remark about serving up 'a lot of eyewash' was not, it seems, intended to be taken seriously. Ronald Hambleton confirmed that Pratt took the interview very seriously. He wrote:

Every word broadcast on the CBC had to be written out beforehand, which meant that he and I had to meet several times to work out the script, and only after it satisfied both of us ... did we sit in front of a microphone ... to record it ... He was a serious collaborator at every step and didn't let me fudge anything he told me in our preliminary discussions ...
(letter to David G. Pitt, 14 November 1988). The text of the broadcast interview appears in EJP: OHLP, pp. 41-7.