26 Dec 43
I have been wondering so much about my family these last few days, and especially yesterday. I look at the time, and think, now take away nine hours, and it will be about ten at night, Christmas Eve, and Mary will be asleep at last, and her Mummy tired, and lonely, or perhaps someone in to keep her company. Your letter of the 5th came last Monday. You have a gift for telling about the things I like to know best. The wintry sunset over the Straits made it easier to imagine myself there with you, enjoying the beauty of it too. It also made me think of the first winter we were together at Ten Mile Point, You have done very well on the Xmas shopping, and I don't see how you can spend too much on your own family, whether its your money or ours. Helen's letter came, and I thought it very good, she has a fine appreciation of the beauty of the West, her description of the Desert was fine.
The silk stockings came during the week, just in time to get them wrapped up and took them down Xmas Eve, had a business trip over that way. It was a bright idea to put in the Xmas wrapping materials. I had a lot of fun wrapping up the things, and if I say so myself, I made quite an artistic job of it. A parcel from sister Nora had some lobster and canned chicken in, so made parcels of them too. These and the things you sent saved the situation, because I've been very busy lately, and no chance whatever to do any shopping. Got "The Specialist" for the Haywards, have you read it? It is an old one, but really a classic in naÃ¯ve rural philosophy. Not so sure how they will take it, the ladies might think it a bit vulgar, but am sure Bert will appreciate it, and it will be good for the women anyway. Took Haywards present down to Bert's office one afternoon during the week, and of course came away loaded with presents from him. Two jars of their special chutney, one of their Military Pickles and a jar of preserved ginger also a bottle of a fine old Bergun[?] wine. In addition, Bert gave me a book, Eve Curie's "Journey among Warriors". Have been planning to go down there next week end.
Friday was Xmas Eve, and I had a very busy day. Started out by early train to Epsom, where I picked up my car, and then drove to Col Meuser's office, then on to one of our RCAF airfields, had lunch there. Wing Cmdr Pearce, from Ottawa accompanied me. He was one of the two people I had to see in Ottawa last fall. After lunch I flew to another airfield with another wing Cmdr, a fine fellow whom I admire very much. We were planning to fly back, but the aircraft wasn't working just right, so we had to wait till a car came to fetch us. Had quite a job getting away as they were just getting nicely started on Xmas eve festivities. Drove my car then back in the blackout, stopped in at Morris's enroute for supper, and they opened their parcels, and there was a nice one for me, containing a very elegant little pocket flask, leather and silver mountings. they had been expecting me for dinner on Xmas day, but I had to be here on duty at the office, so drove on up to London, got in there before Midnight, very tired, it is nerve-racking driving in the Blackout. Alf, was on leave. He was very pleased with the snuff, and wished me to thank you or it and the tie and the card. The card pleased him as much as anything. Spent most of Xmas day at the office, but knocked off at 6 to get back to London House for Xmas dinner at 7:15 There were just a handful of us in, so it made a nice sociable little dinner. We had turkey, plumb pudding etc. Afterwards went down to make a short call on the Bevins but only stayed a few minutes, as I was dead tired, and had been trying to fight off a cold. The cold won, and today I am sneezing and sniffling and hitting the old hankies hard. However it ahd to break, and I think it will be better tomorrow. My resistance had been good, and I feel that I still have the upper hand.
Today I have been on duty again, and sleep at the office tonight, as everyone has to take his turn at firewatching in London. My staff have always been very cheerful about doing there turn on duty, so the Sergeant and I took it for the Xmas. We will be able to do our turn of celebrating next week end.
I got Â£30 off to you last week, it should reach you by the end of January. After I get my bank book back will know if the Pay people have kicked through with some other odds and ends, if so will be able to send you another Â£10 or Â£20 early next month. I suspect that some of my parcels are missing. The radio has not arrived yet, and I haven't had any cigarettes from the B since I was home. I should send $11.00 (US) to the American Society of Photogrammetry, Box 18, Benjamin Franklin Station, Washington DC but have not been able to do so from here due to the nonsense about currency control. Could you arrange this for me? Their fees have gone up, and I've ordered some technical books from them. London is a wonderful old place, will try to tell you something about it next time.
LOVE to my two best Girls:
(Any more news on Project)