30 Cdn Air Survey Liaison Sec, RCE
Canadian Army England.
25 July 44
Your letter of the 16th was here for me when I got back from London tonight. When I got in there the meeting I expected to attend has been postponed till tomorrow, so I went and had a Turkish bath at Nevilles. So your husband is nice and clean and pure for tonight anyway. These baths seem to be good for my skin, and no doubt get rid of a lot of corruption which otherwise accumulates in the system. It was a very quiet day in town, didn't even hear a warning, altho there is sporadic evidence of doodle bug visitations. What a beastly nazi trick, wanton death and damage to civilians,, people seem to be recovering their poise lately, and taking it more like they did the 40-41 blitz. At first, the complete novelty, and diabolical impersonality of the robot things got them down a bit, with their resistance worn a bit ragged by nearly five years of war strain. Just lately however, I've noticed that they are getting more used to it, and the novelty is wearing off, with a recovery of balance. One thing it has stiffened their attitude toward the enemy, at a time when a bit of realism will make a more unsavory dish for the Germans at the peace table. Politically, the program was a gross blunder on their part. It was very sad about Mrs Gamble, and poor Sam is taking it as well as possible. I have mentioned them several times in previous letters. Lyle Trorey also lost a great friend, he used to make the Gamble household his home away from home, it was a real outlet for him, he helped Margaret with the kids, cooked up meals, washed dished, a complete escape from his regimental work and cares. The smallest of the children was brought down from the plastic surgery clinic north of London last Saturday, and Alf says the baby looks OK (I lent Sam my car and driver for it).
Your account of Mary's birthday is very interesting and much enjoyed. You did arrange a happy day for her. It was cheating just a bit to have two blows at the candles, but think we will have to make them get new rules about that as it certainly doubles the joy. Mary's letter also arrived, with the pictures of the teaparty in Swannells back yard. The two close-ups of Mary with the black dog are fine. I recognize my wife, Minnie, Mrs Macdougal, Mrs Dickson, Anne, Heather, Frank, and Bryan Pollard. I ought to know the other girl in the pictures, she looks a little familiar, maybe its Helen Dickson, grown up a bit since I saw her last. Anyway it looks like a good tea party, and Frank seems to be doing first class. Mary is a real blonde alright, and sweet.
Bill went to the big hospital at Roehampton today for fitting his new foot. Alf took him over in the jeep, it is evidently a wonderful institution, and Alf was very impressed, he was invited inside to have a look around. I may take him over for the next trip, if I can spare the time, would like to see it too.
There is a gentle rain just starting outside, its almost blackout time, but I can still see out the bay windows into the garden. Sgt Webster is wandering around just like an old surveyor (which he is) cocking his eye to different quadrants of the sky, probably figuring out just how much it is going to rain, how long, etc. The Sergeant is a real fixture in this unit. He is the plump one in the front row of the group photo. As we have no cook on our establishment, the "other ranks" take turns, today was Websters turn, and you can see the hand of experience, he's a cooked many a meal over the camp fire in the northern Ontario woods. One of his boys got a commission recently, the other is a gunner in Italy.
Had a nice letter from Olive Andrews, says she is pretty well but her posterior arrangements are a bit difficult yet, which implies a very strict and uninteresting diet. I wouldn't ask her to send the extra cheque back. We can spare the extra $100, and she certainly wont spend it on nonessentials. She is very grateful for the bit of help. She is not certain if and when she can take up active teaching again. She was expecting to go up to Gimli to stay with Gert who is alone, Ray was posted to another station. Gimli has happy memories for our family, my own Mother loved it, and built a nice cottage there which was hers, but she didn't live to see it fully completed. The proceeds from it were divided among us children, and helped me through one year at school.
Hope your two eyes will come round, it is a good sign that the one is recovering, likely the other one will follow suit. Would certainly continue your medical supervision of it, hope you don't have to undergo operating, but if the Doc thinks it necessary, get the best Surgeon available.
Another parcel arrived during last week, maybe I mentioned it the cookies were excellent. Took some of the things over to Morris's including the box of lump sugar. They appreciated that a lot, and I often have coffee there in the evening, which must be hard on their sugar. Sometimes I ride over there after our supper, in time to do some chores, and Ecila makes coffee. The have had some bad days from the doodles, but are holding up fine.
LOVE to you BOTH......GER