Nov 12th 1916
It is a little over a week since I have written, but it has been a very busy one, in spite of the fact that I was on my leave, and had nothing to do.
When I landed in town I dropped Em a note and I hope it got out on the Fri. mail boat. We were supposed to have seven days leave when we passed our exams but they cut a day off the front end and one off the end which made the week seem rather short.
I spent from Friday afternoon until Sunday night in London. I had a very nice time, during my stay. Friday night my chum & I took a couple of the nurses from my old hospital to a show. Quite an enjoyable time. Then on Saturday I went out to Finchley and stayed with my friends out there until Sunday afternoon. I was to church in the morning and enjoyed it very much. Sunday evening I went down to Folkestone.
I had wired Alf so he was at Reades when I arrived. Alf is looking very well indeed. Much improved in general appearance. He seems quite happy in his new quarters and likes the bunch very well. Monday evening I dined out with him and we had a good meal and a nice chat. Afterwards we went to a show, a picture show and Alf was so tired that he went to sleep in the midst of it, so I told him he had better get home and go to bed. He had a slight cold but said he was looking after it. He said he had all the coin he needed but that he had written home for boots and some money for a revolver. He knows he can get what he wants from me, so you don't need to worry from that source.
Both Mr & Mrs Reade had very bad cold. In spite of that they made me most comfortable and homelike. Mrs R. as usual spoiled me by her kindness, and waiting on me hand and foot. Such things as hot water bottles in bed and hot drinks at all hours of the day and night. They are most kind hearted people. In a letter from Mrs R. this a.m. she said that she had rec'd Mother's present and was very delighted with it.
I had a very busy time of it when it wasn't raining, running about visiting my several friends. A lot of the Canadians have left Folkestone so I did not see them all. There are quite a lot of very nice English people there too.
Wednesday I came up to town again and after running about and doing a little shopping, I had tea and then went out to Finchley. Stayed there the night and came in again on Thursday afternoon and on to Oxford.
Mrs Jones, at Finchley, is another very charming English woman. Two of her sons are in the Army, one in France and the other just starting his flying course here at Oxford. And there are three girls who are also very nice. One is in the hospital at Weymouth Street and it was thru her I met the family, the other two are at home. At least the little one, who is 15 and my special pal is at school, and the oldest at home housekeeping. Rene the kid and myself go all over together and she is a dear kid. Mrs Jones always insists on my staying there when in town, if she knows it, and it is very nice, as it is practically in the country and yet just ï¿½ of an hour out of the heart of the city.
When I got back here on Thurs. [I] found all our old places filled up so we are now billeted at hotels. There are about 8 of us at this hotel, which is the best in town & we are very comfortable. We have to pay our own expenses which isn't so nice but there is no other way out of it, as the billets are all overcrowded. We are waiting to be posted to an aerodrome and in the meantime we are just taking up some advanced work in engines and rigging. I don't mind being here a bit and while it is a bit expensive one cannot complain always. I must say that the rooms are very comfortable and the meals are excellent compared with Brasenose where they were charging us almost hotel rates.
Am feeling better than ever and consider myself quite fit for anything now. I am anxious to get the flying over so that I can get out for the big spring push. I think things look rosy for a big leave.
Must close now with lots of love for Mother, Em and self and kindest regards to Eliz.