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Date: July 5th 1942

Dear Jean:

You're a'graph of 21 June arrived on the 30th, and the next day, the carbon of it arrived, by ordinary mail. That is about a record for the latter, 10 days from Victoria to this office. It must have klicked all along the line. The snaps are fine, I thought the one of mayr on the swing looked very much like you. The one of you and Mary G. is good of both of you, and I'm glad to have it. By the sound of ME's activities, her old man will have to keep himself in pretty good shape, guess I should do a 5-mile run every day, so I'll be able to keep up with the young lady when I get back. No news from Gert, but evidently the cake has been cut, so she must be a Mrs. -whatsername by now. Probably you will hear from her soon, and can let me know the details, her name, and address. If I were a better chooser of gifts, I would like to have sent her something from here, but I guess I'll never learn to brouse around for things somebody might like. The only way I can really buy presents for somebody is to just happen to see something and think "Now so and so would like that" I never did get anything for the Garmans, and have thought about it so often, but I just can't seem to just go out and buy something like getting a new suit of underwear. Glad you like the snap, we are in a different office now, not quite such an interesting background, the date carved in wood in the snap is 1620. However, the house we were in then was not that old, but had a lot of lovely carving in it apparently salvaged from an earlier house on the same site.
Hope you have the last £30 by the time this reached you. My bank account is rather low now, and I'm expecting to get a weeks leave about the end of the month, so will probably not have much surplus till the end of August. I spent £3-10-0 on a second hand bike last week, that is about $16.00 and have already had that much fun out of it. The army bike is often required for official use and sometimes when I would like to get out, so when the chance came to buy a cheap one of my own, I grabbed it. Its tires are in good shape, so it should last a long time. It is one of the nicest kinds of exercise, because you get out in the air and sun, and there are enough hills around about to make your wind stretch a bit. Also the countryside is lovely now, and with a bike you see so much more than almost any other way of travelling. Another thing, the petrol rationing has taken so many cars off the road, that on the side roads, and country lanes especially, there is very little traffic, which makes cycling a pleaser.

Col Meuser is taking his leave the end of the coming week, so he told me yesterday I had better get away for the week end. Took the train to Horsham, and from there it was about 15 miles by bike to Haywards new home in Sussex. I got there in time for tea, stayed overnight, and started back this afternoon about 3pm. It was a wonderful break, they have a grand place there, 2 acres of ground, and quite a nice house, they haven't got all the alterations done yet, but it is a good country house. Electric light and running water. They have a horse, a nice one too, for Margaret, which she is supposed to learn to ride, a puppy, a kitten, half a dozen ducks, and a bunch of chickens of assorted sizes. Mrs H is a keen gardeness, and Bert Hayward loves the country. I was able to help him with a few chores, cut down one large tree, first of course I climed up and sawed off all the top limbs, then we made fast a rope, snubbed around a nearby tree, then Bert and I cut the trunk with a real Canadian cross cut saw, flush with the ground. We dropped it down just where we wanted it, gently, without smashing any of the hedges or rock gardens. I got really dirty, tired and happy. Am sorely tempted to invite myself down there for my leave, I think I could earn my keep, and a week's hard work outside would be perfect. There is plenty to do on the place too, as it had been neglected for a couple of years. Mr Hayward is a splendid man, and I can see the evidence of his pioneering in the Kootenay country years ago, as a result of that, he and I have similar outlook on life. Their farms are some distance from his house, and of course he still goes up to his business in London every day, and a nephew manages the farms. He took me up to see one of them today, as usual, wonderful brick buildings, built up to last till doomsday.

The countryside looks very beautiful. The grain crops are rank, and each kind of grain is a different color, with the field boundaries marked by hedges, and lines of trees. Not far from here is a field of oats, a lovely color now, kind of a powdery blue green, and in it are hosts of red poppies. They are a lovely feature of the landscape at this time of the year. I can appreciate better now why the post said "When poppies grow in Flanders fields".

The war news is still critical. It will be too no doubt for some time. I wish we could do something to help the lads who are fighting so desperately in Egypt. I think of Bill Hall often, but have not had a word from him for months. British prestige took an awful rap over the Lybia retreat, but the thing isn't finished yet. The British are certainly open to criticism on a lot of points, also they deserve a lot of credit too. When weakness shows up so badly as it has done in Lybia, people are liable to forget the other things too.

Well dear, that is about all the news this week. I shall be glad to hear when the Doctor has seen you, and what he says. Don't delay it. A check over doesn't take long, and if everything is OK, its worth the expense just to know that. Then if there be some little thing which should be put right, well the sooner the better.

I am well.



Just rec'd an airgraph from Gert - with her new name. She seems very happy - and thinks you are wonderful!

Love - G

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Original Scans