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Date: August 15th 1943

15 August 1943

Dear Jean:

This has been a relatively quiet week-end, and the weather has been better than usual, so I took a bit of time off. Spent yesterday afternoon "gardening" at Morris's, Ecila cant keep up with it, she used to have a gardner two days a week, but he found more profitable ways to spend those two days, and things were getting more and more behind, and the weeds more and more ahead, so I've been getting a bit of outdoor exercise at the most urgent items, when I can get over there, of course the wood-cutting has long since ceased, all the trees that there was any excuse for cutting have long since been dealt with, and Ecila keeps a vigilant eye on me to see that I don't cut any more down. Actually their wood is still too thick, and would be the better for a bit more opening up, however its their place. Yesterday we got some potatoes up, and cleared out some other stuff and weeds ready for some cabbage plants she wants to put in. Stayed to supper, and eventually yielded to persuasion and stayed the night, was a bit tired from the exercise, and one of the officers billeted with them had left that day, so used his bed. Mrs M. is thrilled with the can of chicken which you got from Garmans, and they think it is very clever to do canning like that. I came back here for lunch today, would like to have stayed and done more chores, but don't like to hit their larder so hard. Ecila's little niece is there, so there is plenty for her to do too. Anita is 7 now, and getting to be quite sociable.

Your letter of the first, got here last Monday, that is the fastest yet. It is great to get them so soon, it seems to lessen the distance between us just that much. I should like to see "Mary in the Bathtub", possibly a suitable "black & white" subject. Mary's interest in the Sun is much like her father's, Have learned to appreciate it here in this cloudy climate as never before. It seems to defy all attempts to do a little systematic sun-bathing. Frustration is the keybote of this climate for a sun-worshipper. Oh well, we'll have to make up for it after the war. Wish we could afford to spend three months in southern Calif each winter.

There is still no definite sequel to our conference of last Saturday, but expect to know this week a definite yes or no as to now it will affect me, and you too for that matter. Anyway I'm keeping calm, and quite prepared for disappointment, because there have been so many false starts in the past as far as I'm concerned. A trip east might be a nice break for you and Mary, although it might be a bit hectic, as I understand accommodation is scarce. Anyway if the thing falls through I'll let you know at once.

They put the clocks back an hour last night, so were back to winter time once more. The "double" summer time is great, and it seems silly to revert to the other just when an extra hour's light in the evening would be most useful, in mid-summer there is so much light anyway that it doesn't matter.

Last week was a busy one, and haven't had time to write to Mrs Benton. Perhaps I can get a letter written this week. She must be a fine little woman, and I'm glad she and Mary hit it off so well. Took one evening off to cycle over to the nearest cinema, to see "Random Harvest" and enjoyed it very much. Takes about 20 minutes to cycle each way, but it provides some exercise, and the fresh air after the show is welcome too.
Haven't seen the Haywards for a long time, meant to get down there for a weekend, but things have been so mixed up since my abortive leave, that I haven't felt free to plan a long trip like that. May pop into Bert's office if I'm up in town next week.

Well dear, that's about all for now, don't get too worked up about the hints I've been making lately, though it best to tip you off about things a little, so that you can think about your plans should the need arise.

LOVE to you both,


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