I've just laid down the telephone and I must apologise for raising any false hopes that I was coming home on leave. As I said, this is Griff's last night, and though we have been celebrating almost continuously for a week, I want to take him and his wife out tonight to have a few drinks at my expense. I've had lots of good meals in their hotel and I want to make the only return I can.
Yesterday Griff went up to Uxbridge and in two hours was converted into Mr Griffiths, complete with a very neat blue suit, new shoes, sox, shirt, tie, hat and a very good quality raincoat. I arranged for several of our sergeants and WAAFs to meet Mr & Mrs G at one of the locals last night and Griff threw quite a party. The new civilian was the object of a great deal of hilarity and some envy. I would be delighted to stand in his new shoes but strangely enough, Griff is viewing his departure with a certain amount of regret. He is a very sociable type, a born clubman and probably the most popular man in the mess. But I know just how miserable he can be outside the social round, and his wife confesses to some apprehension about his settling down to the life of a country town solicitor. Their home is in Barry and they say it is quite a nice place. Ask Jean if she knows it.
Your Thursday letter arrived yesterday as you intended. Please convey my warmest congratulations to Cliff on his promotion. As you say, the extra money will be very useful to them in the unenviable task of setting up house.
I am delighted to hear that you are better than you have ever been and that the heartburn is diminishing. Since you occasionally enquire about my health, I may state that I am perfectly fit and still carrying out my exercises conscientiously. This has been rather a hectic month with V.J. celebrations and Griff's departure but I have acquitted myself with credit and tonight sees the end of our junketings. Sober steadfast and demure from now on.
Even your description of Mary's cellar does not tempt me. I am doing no travelling till that blessed Thursday three and a half weeks hence, when I travel to London to catch the mid-day train. Roll on the time. I'm longing to see you again.
I am reading Desert Conquest by Russell Hill, an American correspondent. I find it extremely interesting because it covers the period I spent in the desert - from the time before the retreat right up to the fall of Tunis. Have you read it?
From now on, dearest, don't hesitate to use taxis for all your journeys - for example your next visit to Kate. And let me know how the joint account is looking. If it's at all shaky, I'll transfer another credit to it. Don't spare the cost for anything that will add to your comfort or convenience.
My morning cup of chai is awaiting me so cheerio for the present.