H.M. Forces Canteen
May 9, 1943
Hello There Aunties!!
My gosh, its ages since I wrote you isn't it? Anyway, I hope mum gives you any letters I sent her—did she censor them? Well how is the lamb & chicken business? I hope your flock has increased threefold since last year. It takes a lot of wool to keep all these soldiers & airmen, etc. from becoming indecently exposed. However, such is not the case & I got so many sweaters, socks, etc. I just have all I can do to get them into my kit when we move from one place to another & believe me we do lots of that. Variety is the spice of life they say so I should be real "peppery" by now. Six moves since I came here & no doubt another one coming up.
I bet you gals think I'm suffering from starvation, loneliness, etc. etc. Well, the opposite is the case. I bet you are lonelier for old Jim & I than we are for home. However, we'll be back to do a little shingling or sump'n soon—and get a gizzard full of those date squares, cakes, cookies, pies, etc. etc. Right now, "steam & boons" (N.A.A.F.1. tea & dry buns) have to suffice. At that I've gained 7 or 8 lbs over here—not so much from eating as under worked I think. I'll soon weigh as much as Aunt Kate I bet—even if I can't lift as many "sheaves" at once.
I haven't run across Less Donaldson, Glen Sackett, Stewart Boyd or many of the boys but being in Coastal Command I'm usually stuck out near the water somewhere & don't get into the big cities. I wouldn't go far out of my way to see London & all its glory. I'd just as soon look around Drew or some little joint. London seems so selfish, etc., people rushing all over & looking after their interests with no time to do the little social jobs etc. that we enjoyed back home—but didn't know it till we came over here.
I just finished a 2 weeks technical course in Bristol and am on my way back. It was a nice little holiday and the exam was a "piece of cake" in air force language. I had to write like mad to get in all I knew in the allotted time. Its surprising how easy it is to learn the things you're interested in. It just comes natural. Of course I took in the usual quota of dances while there—just to give the local belles a treat—last statement open for argument—but it was just like a leave.
Everything is green over here now. There are some wonderful flowers and beautiful parks. Went for a stroll with the genial Canadian hostess Sunday morning over hills & rocks and winding country lanes, stone fences, brooks & sea shore, etc. and landed back with both arms full of wild flowers and got bawled out by "mair" for "streafing" the country side of its beauty. It was mother's day too & I thought it was just like shooting ground hogs back in "Pampus".
The travelling facilities here, tho crowded, are really ideal for service men. The poor civvies are the ones who suffer over here. There are canteens at every station with free writing paper, pens, ping pong games etc. to help pass the time till you get the next train. There's always places to bunk for half a dollar with breakfast thrown in—so you can go any where any time & never worry about a thing but cash and mine always lasts me fine—thanks to mom & pop's fine job of raising a family without tobacco, beer & cards. The amount of beer consumed over here would "shake" you (more R.A.F. language). They say it's the only thing there is to do—I don't see it myself.
Hero worship over here has turned its attention wholly to General Alexander & his satellites and rightly so. We're really just getting into the swing of putting our now superior production to work. I hope it goes on the same for a while and we'll soon civilize Berlin and Rome. Better we should pulverize them at the same time—yes?
I must thank you for the parcel you sent me via maw. I didn't know you were the instigators. I really think that, as much as we appreciate them, that we are sissies if we can't get along with what we get here because the rest of the people can & do so why not us. However, the "Bell" knit socks do last much longer & don't shrink. My papers done so I'll call this off. Don't you two girls work too hard and for gosh sakes sell that darn "rancho grande". Bye for now.
P.S. Will you thank Less Grice for me, for writing till I get more time to write—and let him read this.