Major GS Andrews, 30 Cdn Air Svy Liaison Sec RCE
First Cdn Army Overseas.
May 14, 44.
This is Sunday night, have worked all day, a bit of a push on these days for us, had a snooze for about Â½ hour after supper, went out for a short bike ride, around the local district, in a direction I have not been before, then had a hot bath, a shave and now I can settle down for a chat with you, all the boys have gone to bed, incl Capt Luscombe , so its quiet, and they cant hear the typewriter, as they sleep on the top floor, and my office is on the ground, in a comfortable sized living room, with French doors opening out onto the large garden at the back. It is cold tonight after a days refreshing rain, but I feel nice and warm, with the old red dressing gown over my pants. It is still hanging together, although if the war doesn't end soon, it may not survive. Alf seems to have done a bit of sewing on it (sewing is not his specialty), and I washed it the other week, left a cake of laundry soap soaking in it, and the dye has come out in patches, so it has a very seductive piebald effect. Still, it is a real comfort, and has the two essentials of a good garment, it is light, and warm. By the way, you might include a few cakes of decent toilet soap in your parcels occasionally, we have to get ours through the army now, and you should see it, its like a bad mixture of axel grease and lye.
Fortunately I have a few cakes in reserve, of decent stuff but eventually that will get used up. A wash in decent toilet soap is one of the few luxuries that the fellows roughing it in the army have been able to enjoy, and I consider it as an important one. It is a great restorer of self respect, it makes as intimate contact with the person as anything, no matter how low one's rank or how dirty his work, he can always enjoy a wash and the occasional bath with good soap. It is practically next to good food in importance in preserving morale.
Kind of got off on a tangent. Believe it or not, your letter of the 6 May arrived yesterday, making almost a record. Poor Mary, by now the worst of the chicken pox will be over, I remember having them, and it is pretty distressing. Well it will be one of her experiences. I gather you have had a pretty hectic time, with that, the fixing up around the house, your guests, and the garden. I often wonder if you are overdoing it, and you are not too strong you know, and if you should get run down, you haven't much reserve flesh and fat to draw on. I think you ought to take a trip somewhere this year.
Your dream of Jo Stalin was most exciting, and must have been extremely vivid. Anyway I was just as relieved to know that you woke up before it was time to go to bed, or haven't you told me all. Maybe your subconscious mind classifies Jo and your husband in the same category. Jo's quite a guy too.
I'll bet the garden is a real credit to 20 Marlborough. Would love to see it. Hope you have some nice plump Marigolds, they are a special favourite, because the look so cheerful in the dark winter days, I remember them in Miss Fidlar's garden. Here the honeymoon of the trees is just about over, and the ground and ponds are littered with the blossom petals, like confetti. We had a sharp frost tho, not so long ago, which may have set some of the fruit back. Tell Mary that there is a pretty little pool in our garden with two fat goldfish and a silver one, even fatter, in it. They stay fat although nobody feeds them. There is also a little tiny brown fish in the pond, and I guess its just as well he is brown so its hard for the bigger fish to see him. I saw a little frog there too this morning. The fish aren't very sociable, so I don't know their names yet, whenever anybody comes near the edge of the pool, they all go down deep, into the black goo at the bottom. The birds use the pool for their bath too, and stir up a lot of little waves in it. I don't know how the fish like that, but in any case they cant chase the birds very far. Perhaps someday, Mary and I can make a little pool and have some gold fish in it too.
The work has been going fine, and results seem to be improving all the time. The boys take a lot of interest in it too, especially as we have developed the technique ourselves which has given the best results. They are always rushing us tho, so maybe it is of some use, which is gratifying too.
Well dear, its late now, and a big day tomorrow, so will climb into my bed. Its tough to have to warm it up myself. Bill is back at hospital for a few days, for further treatments. May see him next week, as I should go up to town for one day. A big hug and kiss for both of you,