This is a continuation of the letter dated 11 January 1965, which began…
Dear Mum, Dad, Carol, Nigel and Kipp,
We awoke this morning to a clear blue sky and a very cold temperature still. The storm has passed however, so things aren’t quite so bad. Well, I haven’t much news to tell you so I will post this now.
I don’t know when I shall receive a letter from you, but there may be one at the place we are going to on Monday – I hope so anyway.
Cheerio for now, look after yourselves.
All the best, Tone xxx
A second letter begins below…
Sunday 17th of January 1965
This afternoon we went out after lunch and picked up a hire car and simply by showing our credit-card, drove away minutes later with a 1965 Plymouth Valiant. It’s a beautiful car and is fitted with snow tyres, so we should be quite safe in the snow.
When we were in the ‘concrete jungle’ last time, we missed the United Nations Headquarters as when we went there it was shut.
So we decided to go this afternoon. For $1 you can go on a conducted tour, so we invested, and we’re very glad we did as it was very impressive. We were shown all the various Council Chambers and finally the General Assembly Hall.
Throughout the tour certain things were pointed out as gifts from different countries and people – for example a wall built of stone from Jordan, a replica of Sputnik 1 came from Russia, a statue from Greece, seven doors from Canada, an ivory sword from Hallie Selassie, a carpet from the Shah of Persia, to name but a few.
The most unique thing was a gift from Queen Julia of the Netherlands. It was in the entrance hall. It was a large golden ball swinging on a long wire (about 100 feet long). It was like a gigantic pendulum, swinging very long and very slowly by perpetual motion.
(Note: This refers to the Foucault Pendulum, a gift from the Goverment of the Netherlands.)
Beneath it was a large circular scale, and the whole point of it is that the pendulum never changes direction. The wire is attached to some sort of universal joint, and as the world (and the building with it) revolves, the pendulum remains the same.
When we saw it, it was swinging towards the length of the hall, but 12 hours later it will be swinging across the width of the hall. I thought it was fascinating and highly original.
Each of the various Chambers we visited was donated, designed and furnished by a different country. During the tour we saw nothing from Britain – and afterwards I asked the guide what we had donated, and he took us to see a small but beautiful chamber with oak panelling and paintings, so we are represented in a truly British way.
The whole UN headquarters is built on 18 acres of international ground.
We then took advantage of having a car in New York and went for a drive, and saw hundreds of kids sledging in Central Park, and also ice skating.
The temperature is getting colder and tonight’s temperature may go down to zero according to the radio. For once I love central heating!!
To be continued…