Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Wednesday 31 January 1945, Marks Hall
As I write the blessed rain is pouring down, washing away the remains of what I hope is the last snowstorm of the winter. It started on Monday night and was an exceptionally heavy fall. But the thaw came soon after and now we have the welcome rain. It's grand to feel the soft air again and to be able to rise in the morning without undergoing agonies.
I hope the pipes remained unfrozen. They must be a great worry and inconvenience to you especially when they involve your sleeping in a cold deserted house. I rexpect the thaw has now relieved you of any further apprehension.
Your letter of 26th Jan arrived on Monday and I am half hoping for another one today. Your mail really comes through very well. I was sorry to hear that you had destroyed an old letter of yours which came back after its wanderings but I was comforted yesterday by a large batch of ancient re-addressed mail including two of your letters, two of your father's and one of Jean's [sister-in-law]. Your letters were the ones you wrote when it began to be reasonably certain that I was coming home and I am glad to be re-assured even at this late date that I was not unwelcome. You've no idea how I missed these letters at the time. There was I despatching what I hoped were faintly exciting tidings and getting never a word in reply.
At present I am trying to wangle some leave next week. I would not mention it at all before it is certain but for the fact that a little advance information may prevent you from dating yourself up with any children's parties or flute blowing evenings. It may perhaps seem early to be taking leave but since one never knows what the future may bring, one is better to close one's fingers over the bird. I'd be furious if I hoarded my leave and then found that circumstances forestalled me. Of course permission has not been granted yet and may not be given at all. But if all goes well I hope to get to Glasgow either late on the evening of Monday 5th Feb. or early on the morning of Tuesday 6th. I would be departing on the evening of Tuesday 13th so I would have a full week at home.
I'll let you know definitely on Sunday evening. Meanwhile keep your fingers crossed ducky. If my visit should clash with the painters it is just too bad. I had to pick my provisional dates some time ago and I chose what I thought was likely to be the best time. Personally I should think that if the gentlemen haven't come by the end of this week, they are busy on another job. But above all remember my leave is not yet fixed definitely.
I was sorry to hear on Sunday that your father had caught a cold at your aunt's funeral. I don't know why it is that funerals always seem to take place in the coldest and wettest weather. I hope he is better now: at least he doesn't need to struggle out to school now in a half-cured condition.* I am delighted to hear that your throat is nearly better. Please try to avoid any further illnesses. You sounded very bright and chirpy last Sunday in spite of the fact that you were going to venture out into the cold at that late hour.
I'm still leading a leisurely life and reading more than I've done for a long time. Yesterday it was Hervey Allen's Bedford Valley - quite readable unsophisticated stuff.
The war gets visibly nearer to its end every day. I'm afraid it's going to be necessary to hack Germany into little pieces, but even that should not take long. There are signs also of the Western Front wakening up.
I want this to catch today's post so cheerio. Don't build up too definite hopes on my leave just yet but I'm praying hard that that should avail much. I'm longing to see you again ...
*DF's father-in-law had been a Primary School head. In fact, only one member of that family was not engaged in teaching.