23 Marchmont Rd.
Sunday, Nov. 17th/40
Just got in from a walk through the park down by the Thames River with Betty and Simon. This morning is grand. Sunny, blue sky and keen air. The ground is quite wet from the heavy rains which we have had all week. Betty and I went to church this morning before we had our walk. Miss Sendamore and Miss Day are busy with their knitting or household duties.
What a joy you gave me yesterday. When I arrived here, about 3 p.m. by bus from Bonamy Street, there were four letters from you, # 16, 18, 19 and 20. No. 17 is missing for some reason or other. You don't know what a joy your letters are and I look eagerly forward from day to day to receive them. I don't know what has happened to the letters between # 13 and 15 inclusive. I have so far received all others.
You spoke of note receiving any of my letters which are numbered. By this time you will have received quite a few no doubt. I am behind you for some reason or other. Are you certain that you are not skipping on me? I have received almost all of your letters and I live through them with you. I wish I could have concealed myself at the masquerade and surprised you behind my mask. It is mighty good of Margaret, Agnes and Ab to look after you as they are doing. I shall forever be indebted to them.
We have just finished lunch. Cold roast beef, brussel sprouts, cream potato and plum pudding. I washed the dishes while Miss Day and Betty dried--Miss Sendamore put away. Emily, the maid, prepares everything for Sunday and leaves nothing but a bit of warming up to be done on Sunday, which Miss Sendamore does as Emily doesn't come on Sunday.
Betty is playing at the piano. She is not a good pianist by any chance, but enjoys running over the odd piece which she plays quite well.
Last night was quite quiet. An air raid warning was sounded early in the evening, an 'all clear' went about 9:30 p.m., to be followed about midnight or later by another 'warning' which lasted until seven a.m. I brought in all the bedding from the dugout as soon as the occupants came in the house. This is done each morning to prevent dampness. Then I took down all the heavy drapes and curtains which have to be put up each evening on all the windows. [to block out any light showing on the outside]
Each day it requires about two hours to prepare everything for the night. What a life you all must think people are living here. It is indeed an unusual experience and most exceptional circumstances cause people to live so differently from what they have been used to.
Mrs. Gliddon, of Chippenham, has asked me to spend Xmas Day with them. I would much rather spend Xmas Day alone wrapped in thought of you and sharing your lovesomeness. The entire family have been so very good to me they will think it a strange thing if I don't accept their invitation. If only you could come over and we could be by ourselves what a Merry, Merry Xmas we could have.
The Banisters at 222 Northfield Rd., King's Norton, also expect me to be there with them. It is most difficult to decide what to do. In fact if I happen to be on duty in the Air Force I don't think I shall have any time off. Even if I happen to be working as I am at present. I don't expect to have any time off except Xmas Day (which comes on Wed., I believe.)
I have not heard from Ron or Shaw yet. I have no means of knowing their addresses. The Brighton address that you gave me of Shaw's seems to be incorrect. A letter which I had sent there was returned unopened marked wrong address.
In Letter # 13 of mine, I enclosed a 1 pound note. I do hope it reaches you safely. I shall try to send what I can from time to time. Until I am definitely settled and my income is more or less stable, I shall not be able to send very much but love. But I assure you Sweetheart that I shall not keep you waiting much longer.
I was glad to receive a letter from Mother yesterday. She was writing Aunt Agnes at the time and had just left her brother's--Jim Douglas. I am glad that Harry has a better position than the one he had with Dominion Stores. What is the nature of it? Mother didn't say.
Heaps of love, Dearie, and thanks for the kisses and hug. I only wish I could be there right now to collect them. Happy dreams and I hope the thumb is all better now.