Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thursday 30th August 1945, Marks Hall

Margaret darling,
                        The Griffiths pre-release celebrations which arouse so much apprehension in you are pursuing quite an orderly course. Yesterday we all went to a Colchester cinema in the afternoon, had dinner in his hotel at halstead afterwards and then spent the remainder of the night in a pub near Braintree. The presence of Mrs Griffiths prevented any excessive alcoholism.

                       The picture was To Have & Have Not with Humphrey Bogart and the Bacall woman. This lady is very skinny and her face is really extremely ugly but she certainly puts across the rather limited range of emotions demanded of a Hemingway heroine. She moves with a kind of slouching grace, contrives to look very smouldering and suggestive, and sings in a rather fetching low voice. Humphrey Bogart gave as usual a very good representation of H. Bogart.

                     It has just been announced that cypher officers in groups 21 and 22 are to be released during October so the RAF is still a little bit ahead of the Govt. schedule. Unfortunately the Groups get much larger above 22, and even if they manage to release one group per month in our trade, I won't be out till February. It is all very tiresome as you say: it would be so nice to start off together right from the beginning of our new life.

                     I got your Tuesday letter last night. It's strange you should be re-reading John Macnab as I aslo found it in the library here and decided to have another go at it. I find that Buchan seems more and more dated every time I read him nowadays. His five representatives of the ruling and officer class and his intelligent, humorous and yet extremely respectful members of the lower orders all belong to a vanished age. I like him best now in these novels like Salute to Adventurers where he gets away from modern times.

                  With regard to your exhortations to use my coupons, I won't be in London before I go on leave but when I am in Glasgow I'll buy whatever you suggest. I need some more light underwear but apart from that I seem to be quite well stocked. This winter is going to be rather grim in many ways - chiefly in the matter of fuel - and I hope we don't get much frost and snow. I still think that before the end of autumn we should fill our green box with coal. When I'm on leave I'll pack it with lumps from the bunker which can then be refilled.

                  I'm glad to hear that you are still feeling so fit. Four weeks today I hope to be travelling north and I'm looking forward very much to seeing you again. I'll be very pleased to stay at 155* if it is convenient. Give my regards to the family. ......

*155 Hyndland Road; home of his in-laws.

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