47 Glencairn Ave
Toronto, Ont.
Friday [24 Dec. 1954]

Dearest Claire:

Merry Christmas to you Sweetheart! Julia phoned up to say that she was going to be in New York next week. She is calling here tomorrow to pick up a couple of small parcels sent as presents. It will be nice for you to see her especially when your mother is coming home for a spell. Julia belongs to God's feminine peerage if there is such a body, and you're in there too.

I forgot to mention a small item in connection with that steak dinner which Cal & I had. As you know by this time I intended a stew but he thought it was a waste of good food to stew a Porterhouse. I complained that I had fried a portion of the steak the evening before and it raised such a helluva stink that I thought the Mars[..]s would ring up and object. 'Oh no,' says Cal, 'I can fry it beautifully.' Well, he did and we sat down to supper and the fumes became intolerable – worse by far than from my frying. 'There,' I said, 'you're worse,' when he turned his head towards the toaster and found that I had failed to take out the plug. The two pieces of toast were cinders and Vesuvius was pouring up towards the roof. He had me there. I put on two more pieces and told him to watch it himself. All things went well after that to the strains of 'Men of Harlech.'

Last night we had another scoff. He brought up a delicatessen chicken and the following items: – Is your French good enough to interpret these?

  1. a tin of condensed Bouillon Écossais (Scotch broth)

  2. one of Soupe Crème de Champignons (mushroom)

  3. " " Crème de Tomatoes (more obvious)

  4. " " Chivers Olde English Marmalade

  5. a lot of biscuits etc.

I am putting on weight – a little. Only the firmest determination on my part makes it [a little].

In an hour or so I go down to the Royal York to have a snack with him. Then we proceed to a film of 'Two Years before the Mast,' Dana's masterpiece.

Today I received a $400 cheque from Brendan[?] which I am putting away for you. Let me know anytime when you want American funds or whether you prefer the amounts to be placed to your credit at the Royal Bank here.

A great deal of love for you and Julia

Pash and I are going out to the airport to meet Mother when I know the exact plane flight.

The neighbours.

A Newfoundland word for 'a good feed'.

[a little]
An arrow is drawn to 'a little' in the previous sentence.

Dana's masterpiece
The 1946 film starring Alan Ladd was based on the the popular account of 'the life of a common sailor at sea as it really is' by American author Richard Henry Dana, Jr. It was based on his experiences during a two-year sea voyage from Boston to South America and around the Cape Horn to California (1834-6).