Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday 13 [March]* 1945, Marks Hall

My darling,
                 Your Sunday letter came this morning. It's an excellent idea for you to get fixed for the Easter holiday at Fintry. I should think it could be rather pleasant in Spring and hope you get lovely weather so that you can sit out-of-doors sometimes. You can travel at the quieter times of the day and I suppose Uncle will meet you as usual.

                I can well imagine my aunt's fat chuckle when you told her the news. As for Mrs Goodall and other 'High Time' merchants, I hope you don't omit to point out the difficulties involved in the matter when your husband is 2000 miles away fro three years. We are not all blessed with diabetes or the possession of a farm.

              Thanks for the information about the certificates. If you complete my book it is not going to leave much of the £200 for your use, so I'll send along another cheque shortly. When my 'book' is complete, we'll set about yours and when they are both filled, we'll put them away until such time as we can buy a house at a reasonable cost.

             Today's post also brought a parcel from the Church. It is magnificently packed but I shall not open it until I get back to the billet. Meanwhile, I have not given up hope of the first one reaching me; if it does, I'll have brought off quite a neat swindle.

              I'm looking forward to seeing these Penguins from you. I am tired of reading rubbish. Old Fowler is the most interesting thing I've managed to lay my hands on recently. I am dealing with his chapter on punctuation at present and am completely lost in the subtlety with which he treats the subject. However, I am much comforted when I perceive that his general bias is towards leaving out punctuation whenever this is possible without the sense suffering. I'll be less humiliated in the future when I look at one of your meticulously spotted letters.

            For the last two days the weather has been marvellous and the trees have quite suddenly come to life. The Mess is pleasantly decorated with branches of buds and catkins; reminding me of strenuous afternoons out at Courthill or more surreptitious foraging around Sydenham Road by night. If tomorrow is fair I am hoping to spend the whole day in Colchester so that I can really see what kind of place it is. I have been out of camp very little because of my leg but now that it is cured, I am going to get round a little. It all helps to pass the time.

                                                                                                                      After Tea

            Back in the billet and have just opened the Church parcel. It contains quite an enterprising collection of stuff - toothpaste, shaving soap, paper and envelopes, ovaltine tablets, meat paste, oxo cubes, cigarettes and blacking. The eatables will come in useful on night shift. Please sent me Mr Black's address and I'll send him a note of thanks.

             I suffer very much at present from a lack of argumentative friends. My colleagues are all extremely reticent about their opinions on all debatable subjects and I trail my coat in vain in an effort to start something. It is significant that their are no teachers among them. Two of them are lawyers, and like most of that profession, dead to everything outside the dreary tomes that guide them on their pettifogging career. For the first time in my life I am completely cut off from the society of teachers and only now am I realising what a delightfully blatant well-informed class they are. No-one finds it hard to start a discussion when there is a teacher present.

               I am glad to hear of the improvement in your health and hope it continues. It would be very pleasant for you to get away for May and June so I hope your house hunting is successful. Don't spare expense.


*For some reason, this letter was dated Tues. 13 November 1945, but it obviously belongs to March. Perhaps DF was wishing the time away.

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