England, 6 March 44
I've noticed for some little time now that your letters have been arriving on Mondays, a week and a day after your writing them. So this week I thought I'd wait till today before writing you, and sure enough your of 27 Feb came along at noon. Too bad yours of 2 Jan went astray, for it must have been an interesting one, but your resume in this letter fills the gaps fine. You needn't worry your dear head about missing the OBE notice, I didn't know myself till the orders covering it came along, and I know too dear that it made you happier than anyone else. Am glad to learn that the book from Seagrams arrived, my friend Jim Mackenzie who is their traffic man in Montreal promised to send me one, to Victoria. It will be some thing to look forward to reading when I get back. I will try to get a short airgraph to Jim and thank him. He has since sent cigarettes to one of my boys who gets practically no parcels from Canada.
I think you let any little oversights in building our house magnify themselves beyond proportion. I feel that it is lucky we have had the experience and will be that much wiser when we tackle the business again, and then too, no doubt, it will be me who will make the real blunders. I honestly think you made a very good job of the house, and I will be very happy there for a couple of years after the war, till we can plan definitely on a real home for our selves. Glad the bits of money are coming through in reasonable time I may be able to get another Â£30 off to you this week. Now is the time to salt down what we can, because no doubt there will be a reaction within a few years after the war, and a few assets will be mighty fine to have tucked away. Do we ow anything on my insurance?
Time flies, am there seems to be less and less to do things of a personal nature. Do not expect to be a cockney much longer, and now that Spring is just around the corner, am glad of the prospect of being in the country again. It is a nice locality and one I know a bit, and it will be within cycling distance to Morris's and very near to Bevin's summer cottage. We have had an interesting stay in town, but strange to say, I have had to keep closer to the grindstone these last few months than ever, so that have not been able to get around the old town much outside of business. Haven't been to a picture show since we came up, nor to a dance. Went to one play with the Gambles. Am over due for leave too, but it has been out of the question, however may be able to get away within the next month. Am at a loss to know what to do for a leave, would like a real change, some exercise and fresh air, and yet don't want to travel very far, I begrudge spending two days out of seven in discomfort on trains. If the weather is good, may resort to the old bike again. Expect Bill will be down at Haywards soon for a spell, so don't feel like barging in on them for more than an odd week end, although I know they would give me a real welcome. It's a bit quiet at Morris's, and too near the army atmosphere, for a whole week.
Bert Hayward and I had another Turkish Bath last week, he had to leave before I did, to catch his train, and of course when I checked out, the bill for both of us had been paid. Have been feeling fine in spite of the pressure of the work, think I must thrive on hard work. It has been interesting, and with some good luck, I think I shall be able to give them the answer they need. It has meant neglecting some other aspects of my work though, such as my plotter, however, there may be an interlude when I can turn to it again and take it a bit farther. The army people in London at our big Cdn Mil HQ have treated us very well during our attachment to them. This current job seems to have added appreciably to our prestige with them, mainly, perhaps, because they aren't allowed to know just what its all about. Anything "mysterious" always inspires respect. It's a funny world.
Hope to get out to see Bill again tomorrow night. Was out one night last week, and found him out of bed, sitting in an easy chair beside the fire, with his crutches along side. Says he gets around a bit more every day, and no doubt his whole body got pretty weak lying in bed so long, and the stimulus of being able to get up and prowl around will give him a new interest in life, and simulate new strength in his frame. It is just possible they may let him go down to Haywards for a week soon, in which case I will try to arrange to pick him up in my car, and drive him down there myself. The train journey might be pretty tiring for him.
Got three packages of books nicely done up for sending home yesterday, and the PO say, they are over the 5-pound limit for book post. Wanted to get them off before moving. Sgt Webster is now busy checking up all the orders on postage of parcels to see if there isn't a loop hole so I won't have to repack them.
Got down to Morris's yesterday pm, first time for a couple of weeks or more. Stayed to supper, and instead of rushing off to catch the 926 train, stayed the night, getting up at 6 this am to get back to London House in time for breakfast. It was a chilly but bracing walk down to the train in the grey just before dawn. Mrs M isn't too spry, felt the cold which has persisted for 3 weeks now. Well dear, its late, and lots to do.
LOVE to you Both GER and to Betty & Nora Anne.