C Sqdn, 9th Battn R.T.R.
My Darling: First and foremost I must tell you this: there were two letters for me today – and now I feel fine once again. It has been so gloomy for the last few days. One of the letters was a whopper – 17 big pages of Jess: I haven’t yet digested all of them… but when I’ve read it ten more times I will feel better.
I was glad to read of your proposed trip to M/cr… and I sincerely hope it has resulted in a large increase in your supply of clothes. I know that you are in urgent need of many new things… but I know too that I don’t really know half the story. I feel terribly ashamed, dear, when I think of the miscroscopic amount you have been able to spend upon yourself since we were married. It is a horrible reflection upon your husband. I’m half hoping that you’ve been able to buy a ready-made frock, instead of a dress length. You have so little time to spare these days for sewing.
I admit that I don’t know what a ’round about’ is… but I could make a pretty good guess. In actual fact, you give yourself away: you spring this mystery upon me… and in the next sentence you describe your “hips and tummy” exercises. There seems to be some connection – somewhere-!! I don’t mind you doing exercises, my love – but don’t forget that knee: I think you can give your tummy all the exercise it needs by lying on the bed – and raising your legs from the hips: this won’t hurt your knee. I’ll demonstrate a few more exercises when I get home – I’m good on P.T.-!!
Jess… you have now managed to transfer Barry’s cot to the smaller room-! This must be considered as a major achievement and I’ve no doubt it necessitated much ingenuity on your part… But – oh, I was sorry to hear about it. It was so lovely to be awakened by the little fellow: to see his little pink face smiling cheerily in the mornings as he clung to his cot – to listen to his delightful murmurings whilst lying snugly in bed – And now – ah Jess-! I am grieved… But I know it is all for Barry’s benefit so I don’t complain. I only regret that he is growing up so fast.
I couldn’t help feeling amused about Gwen Roberts: fancy her having no better excuse than a ‘thirst’ when she visited you the other day! She must have been darned anxious to be with you. Whilst admiring her taste… and sympathising with her in desiring your company, I fully agree that her frequent visits must be very annoying. I think it is fairly obvious that everything is not as it should be between Gwen and her husband… but I should certainly hesitate before trying to apportion the blame. I imagine that there is a certain amount of “incompatibility of temperament” between them. I have a feeling that you are going to be the recipient of a few domestic secrets from Gwen one of these days.
I don’t know how many times I have now read your long letter… but I still have not finished with it. I love reading it… especially the part about the little ‘pest’… and his reactions to his first motor ride. What a thrilling day it must have been for him – and his mummy too! I only wish I could read of many more similar outings: how refreshing it must have been for you to get away from the four walls of our home – And how nice to see a few hills once again – even though they were partly obscured by mist. It was a nice gesture on Mills’s part, Jess: I must write and thank him. Barry seems to be earning quite a reputation with his knowledge of the alphabet. It is a surprising thing, isn’t it dear. After all, he can barely talk yet. Gosh! He’s a grand little fella-!
Your comment “outside was Jack’s car” was actually re-read by me before I discovered that you too had repeated it. Yes – it shook me: I suppose I am soured by news of this type… and yet, I can’t say I envy Jack:- there are several million reasons why I wouldn’t be in his shoes – one of them being this contemptible display of war-wealth. If he had an ounce of common sense, he would be a little less ostentatious… but he wouldn’t understand. I certainly hope I am never in his company when the subject of war is being discussed: it would be rather awkward.
I don’t feel anything like this about Mills. He has simply seized his opportunity – at the expense of his principles, I imagine. But, he has earned his money by his knowledge and ability: he really is a brilliant radio man and deserved far more than he earned before the war. The fact that he is now so obviously a ‘newly-rich’ is very lamentable… pathetic in a way… but I don’t believe he is entirely to blame for that, do you? No – I can stand talking to Mills about the war… but not Jack.
You have asked me one question to which I must reply… or suffer the consequences! It is about my ‘pain’… I am not really troubled now, dear. It seems to be fading away, as the specialist forecast. And I am not taking any medicine for it – I was not given any – nor was I advised to abstain from any particular foods – though I enquired about this – and am eating normal meals… army meals, that is: I believe all my pains will disappear when I am able to take advantage of my Jess’s cooking – to say nothing of all the other attractions-!
You make me chuckle – yes chuckle – and not always because you are funny. Some of your occasional bold statements are quite amusing. The latest example is “Men can’t stand me when I start map reading” -! How do you know… little sweetheart?? I remember an occasion when two people got stuck on a mountain top – in a cloud – and one wanted to go one way – and the other wanted to go the opposite way… and the opposite way was the right way… And this way led ultimately to a most delicious meal – among other things. I seem to remember something about map-reading on that occasion… but I can’t remember my precise reactions. Perhaps I was damned annoyed for having been proven wrong by a mere female: perhaps my manly pride suffered a severe wound – I can’t remember. But – tell me, dear… was it on this occasion that you first formed the opinion that “men cannot stand etc.”? If so, then my behaviour must have been reprehensible – and I will have to apologise. One thing I know… there have been many occasions during the last year or so when I have deeply regretted being unable to read a map as you can… Those night journeys through Normandy and Holland in the tank – and other times when I have been lost – literally lost:- Yes… I’ve often wished I had my Jess to guide me.
Jess! I’m an ass: I have just written a short letter to Mills… but when I started to address the envelope, I suddenly realised I did not know their new address. I am enclosing the letter… please send it off for me, darling… If you too don’t know the postal address, I s’pose it will be in a ‘phone directory.
Going to bed now… to sleep – and dream – I hope.
Goodnight, dear lady