Friday, August 19, 2011

Sunday 19th August 1945, Marks Hall

My own darling,
                  Griffiths and I have just returned from a melancholy afternoon walk round the camp. Every weekend now there is a 'stand-down' for all but a few personnel, and an Sat. and Sunday this place looks like a dead city. Today has been completely overcast and one has the feeling that autumn is just around the corner.

               To my great delight I got a letter from you yesterday after having had nothing since Thursday. I expect that my letters to you will have been similarly delayed by VJ holidays. You threw me into some confusion by dating it "Wed. 13th Aug" but according to all the almanacks I have consulted, last Wednesday was really the 15th.

                To answer your query first of all, I can hardly imagine a name I detest more than 'Victoria'. Apart from its horrible associations and domineering sound, to bestow such a name on a female child is like branding a birth certificate on its brow. The name is going to be Christine Emma or Margaret, so you had better make a decision soon.

               Congratulations on attaining the weight of 11/4 cwt. [12 stones or 76.2 kilos] I am sure you carry it all with great dignity and composure. I am sorry to hear that the infant chooses to be so active in the middle of the night but I don't suppose you can begin to subject it to disciplinary measures just yet! Relief is not so very far away now.

               I am afraid you are rather optimistic in hoping I'll get out in October. Groups 20-27 are the largest in number as far as the RAF is concerned and I can't reasonably hope that they'll be able to release six groups of cypher officers in the next batch. November is a safer bet and at the worst, I should assuredly be released by Christmas.

             Your proposed orgy of domestic activity suits me admirably. I ask for nothing better. I'd like to get you away from that beastly set of stairs as soon as possible, and if the new Govt's energetic approach to the housing problem should bring down prices, we may manage to pick up the kind of place we want at a reasonable figure.* The problem is not nearly as acute in Glasgow as it is in the South and I think our district should be the first to feel any improvement.

             Dearest, you don't mention your old enemy, heartburn, in you last letter and I hope that means it is less troublesome. I'll hear from you this evening. I hope you are still diligently coddling yourself and being unnaturally selfish. Please be very careful ...

*In fact it was 1955 before they left the top flat in Novar Drive for the terrace house in Broomhill where Margaret still lived at the age of 92.            

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