C Sqdn, 9th Battn R.T.R.
Jessie Darling: There was another letter for me today: I don’t know how you do it. I had convinced myself that you couldn’t possibly continue writing to me daily… now that Barry has become so active and such a delightful nuisance – and yet, I seem to have had already many more letters than I have written to you.
Needless to say, I have been very glad to hear from you so regularly… and I would like to think that you will be able to keep it up… But – Jess – if you have to miss writing to me for odd days here and there, please don’t worry. You have a hell of a lot to do every single day of your life and I know you can’t possibly fit in letter writing without neglecting something else.
In your letter of the 19th – 19 lovely pages of news! – you mention your visit to Mills’s… thus revealing that you have anticipated my suggestion about ‘phoning her.
Jess… you have said quite a lot about our garden – about wind, weather, weeds and whatnots… and about bugs, beetles, butterflies and all the other bloody bugbears of gardening. And… I heartily agree with you: you have put into words something which has been bothering me.
I saw our garden on my leave… yes, I saw it, and thought about it… and I wondered, in a vague sort of way, whether we would ever again spend so much time – and labour – upon that tiny patch of earth… And I wondered whether it was worth while. I, too, like a nice garden – the finished article. But even the simplest of gardens requires upkeep… and the upkeep means time and labour. Now many people… ordinary married people… seem to have plenty of spare time for gardening: you and I know plenty of such people – the husband coming home from work – having his tea… and then pottering about in the garden: day after day… year in, year out: It’s very nice I s’pose… It is nice – to people who have few interests or hobbies beyond the garden.
But we have other interests: we like music, we like reading, we like talking, we like messing about in the house, we like having friends to see us – and we like going out – and, last but not least, we like Poppet. We haven’t enough time to really enjoy our leisure as we want to… and attend to the demands of a garden as well. I don’t think we can do both, Jess – do you? I think we will have to compromise somehow… I don’t know how mind you, but I will try and think of something… Meanwhile – bugger the garden.
I’m sorry to hear that you are mending that tweed jacket of mine. I hoped that you would forget about it. It would have been so much easier for you to attend to it after I am demobilised – and able to give you a little help in the house. But I am not ungrateful my dear. I realise that your precious spare time is being devoted to an irksome job… just for my sake… and… and… well, I don’t know how to say it. Let me say thank you for the time being: the rest will come later.
And now I must go to bed… to dream about my beautiful sweetheart… and our delightful little pest.
Au revoir, Jess dear –
Uoy evol I.