Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tuesday 24th July 1945, Mark's Hall

Darling Margaret,
                          As I said last night, something appears to have happened to the telephone system in these parts. On Sunday night when I tried to 'phone at the usual time, I was told that there would be two hours' delay, and last night I had to book my call and wait nearly an hour for it to mature. I believe that trouble was caused by a violent electrical storm which they had down here just before I returned. It put several main lines out of action and may still be causing delays.

                         So on future Sundays, don't be disappointed if I can't call you, and don't on any account sit up past eleven o'clock. I'll always try to get my call through before that hour.

                         I'm sorry to hear my letters are taking such a long time to reach you. Yours aren't so bad and your Friday edition arrived here yesterday morning. I'm sorry to hear that your weakness for pickled herring has again mastered you, and sorrier still to see you emasculating Shakespeare in your description of their after-effects. Can you imagine Sir Toby Belch saying 'Fie on those pickled herrings'? Anyone would think you had been brought up on Bowdler.

                       I am sure you can safely leave to your family the buying of a super-sprung, ball-born perambulator. It will save you any more exhausting visits to town. Thanks for fixing Mr Meikle; he is really very obliging and has been extremely useful to us, or rather to me, for I don't suppose you'll dote on the "Social History".

                      I'd like to visit Mary Goodall [school friend of MF] for a few days but I'm rather unwilling to leave the unit just now. There are all sorts of rumours of moves and moreover if anything did happen about Class B, I want to be here to look after my interests. I'll write her a letter explaining my difficulties.

Clement Attlee, the P.M.
                          As you remark, the newspapers are quite unhelpful about demobilisation and it is obvious that they know nothing about it. I should not be surprised if the new Govt. attempted to popularise itself by accelerating releases but meanwhile I am reconciling myself to another six months at least of service life.

                          I have not heard from Annie Jutson [a former pupil who excelled in English] for a long time. A very probable explanation is that I did not reply to her last letter. As a correspondent I get lazier every day and soon I'll have to reply to all my outstanding letters by an announcement in the personal column of the Times. I've nothing to say to anyone but you and that's the God's truth.

                          The demands of personal hygiene compel me now to go for a bath. It is grand to hear that you are keeping so well and I hope you have a very restful time at your Hillfoot residence. You have better take some of the classic with you so that you and your mother don't run out of reading matter. Look after yourself ....

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