Lieut GS Andrews, RCE
H.Q. Cdn Corps,
Cdn Army O/S
10 August, 1941
Another week without any mail, but there is one thing, its like saving up something to be enjoyed, when it does come, it has the added flavor which anticipation lends. I forgot to tell you that 600 sweet caps arrived from you about 10 days ago, and were extremely welcome, as I had been out for quite a while. Another 300 arrived through the Agent General, from the BC Forest Branch, last week, so I am relatively flush once more. I customarily share a few packages with the chaps who are around about, who are without, but even after distributing these dividends, I have a good reserve for the immediate future.
I managed to get up to town last week, for a day, and not on duty. Got a ride up with Ecila Morris in the morning, and met her in the pm in time for tea, and then home again for supper at the mess. She showed me some good shops, and also a very interesting art store, called the Medici Galleries, off Picadilly. I was able to get your birthday present, and hope you will like it, it will be late arriving probably, but I hope it does arrive. I tried to select something typically English, and what I got, seemed to men ice, and quite unique. It was a bit expensive, but, if you like it, money well spent. I also got a picture for Mary's room which I thought very appropriate,just bought the print, it seemed foolish to send the frame and glass, when they can be framed in Victoria. You can take it to Sid Rodd, and it might be worth while to find out if it could be mounted on a stiff back, and lacquered, like our Indian Picture, rather than putting glass in front. Glass always gives such bothersome reflections which really detract much from the picture. By the time I got these things I have just enough money left to see me through till next pay day, so have decided to wait till then to get something for Mary Garman. Besides, if I am a little more flush, it will give me a wider range of choice. Its not easy to select "just the right thing", especially when you have to think of the coat. Mary E's picture may seem to you rather too big and gaudy when you look at it first, unframed, but I think the large size is best, because it makes it easier for her to see all the things in it, and children like large blobs of color and design. Of course it wouldn't do to have her room filled with pictures as big as that, but one or two should be OK.
Saw a good show last week, got a ride into Dorking, Pimpernel Smith, enjoyed it very much. Caught the 10.18 train home. To-day I got a ride down that way again, and climbed up the hill to Haywards' for tea. The family were all home, including Jean, the younger girl who is home from school. They had had a letter from Mr Hall, and I am sorry to learn of his illness. It must be tough for him to be worrying about his boys who are away, and not to shure if he will be there to see them come home again. He said he had been down to see you, and the house. Let me know how he is, and give him my very best regards.
I have just taken my time out to hear H.M. the Queen broadcast to American Women. They say that she writes out her own b'casts, and works very hard on them, and that nobody reviews her script before she broadcast it herself to the world. The King's speeches of course, have to be reviewed by the Cabinet before presentation to the public. The King and Queen have come very much into the hearts of the people here, constantly visitying the poor people who have been bombed out, and their simple friendly democratic sincerity makes them very much beloved. It is a remarkable thing to have the traditional head of the State absolutely removed from politics.
The gossip is that there is a Canadian Mail in, but my letters will not likely show up for a day or two. It will make it a little faster when you address them direct to the Survey Directorate.
Last Tuesday we had our dinner party, as planned, Vic Bowers, Bert Hammond and I were joints hosts to Mrs Morris and Ecila. It went off very happily. The old lady was very pleased, and ate a hearty meal with no unpleasant after effects. She always asks me for my socks to darn, but I never remember to pick them out to take when I go up here. She is, however, going to fix the sleeves of all my shirts.
The work goes on at its usual pace, and each week brings some progress. There is the odd job which crops up from time to time, which interrupts the ordinary sequence, but that just makes it more interesting and helps to keep us out of a rut. There seem to be one or two minor changes in organization brewing, but it is doubtful if I will be affected very much.
I have just finished the book I'm reviewing for the Royal Geog. Soc. and have started to write up the review, but I have to do it in fits and starts, because I feel that it must not interfere with my other work, which often invades my evenings.
Expect to have Lorne and Dick Farrow up for dinner this week sometime, and perhaps go to a movie. Well my dears, that's about the works, I often think of things during the week that I want to tell you about, and sometimes foreget when actually writing. I think typing is not conducive to a free flow of thought. Its much too jerky and interrupted by little mistakes, and the use of the "back space" and "margin release".
All my love to you both,
As ever -