142 Blackheath Hill
Mon. Nov. 11th/40
I am comfortably seated before an open fire in the living room of Douglas & Olive Garvin. (Betty's married sister.) They are living just half an hour's walk from where I live, or by bus or train, if one is lucky enough to get one, a journey of abut 15 mins. Both Douglas and Olive insist that I come over to their "slum", as they call it, in the evening rather than stay alone at 9 Bonamy. It costs 3 d. by bus. So here I am.
Betty spent her weekend here this weekend. She came over Friday and I took her home to Richmmond by bus, last evening. I came here Saturday afternoon and stayed all night. We went to church yesterday morning and Douglas went on duty at 4 p.m. Betty and I left here at 5 p.m. and reached 23 Marchmont Rd. at 6:15 p.m. just before the air raid warning sounded. We had supper at Miss Sendamore's. Miss Sendamore and Miss Day had just about finished their supper when we arrived. We were almost through supper when the warning sounded and of course it was then a rush to the dugout. I went down and talked to them all until about 8 p.m. when I set out for 9 Bonamy. I took the train to Waterloo but could only get to Clapham Junction, changed there for Peckham and walked the rest of the way. I reach home at 11:30 p.m., beautiful moon-light night, but quite cold. (If you look up London in the Encyclopedia, Sweetheart, I think you will find the places I have mentioned.)
It was raining when I came here tonight. By the way it has been raining a portion of every day for the past two weeks. This is England this time of the year.
We have been working at roofing for a week or more and today proved to be a wet experience. We had stripped the slates off a large area of roof and rain set in at noon. We had to rush the felt on in a steady downpour all afternoon. I was like a drenched rat when I returned home. Lucky for me I had my old suit (the one I left home in) to wear. I am quite well supplied with clothing, i.e. I have enough until I receive my instructions.
Olive Garvin is a scream. She is pretty much the type of girl that Nelly Gray or Irene Smith is, except that she does everything in her own original way and I'm sure you would die with laughter at some of the things she does. Her housework is a hit and miss proposition. She cooks as she feels. Sometimes she achieves a successful effort and to her surprise something good will come out of the oven. It doesn't fizz her a bit if it turns out any other way. She serves it up just the same. The other day (Sunday) she took an apple pie out of the oven and let it drop on the kitchen floor. We heard a grunt and before we could inspect what had happened she was busily scraping it up on four different plates and without any apology was carrying it in to us with a mere casual remark "excuse the broken appearance. I had to scrape it off the kitchen floor." A mouse had eaten the top crust when it was on a plate on the kitchen shelf, and had left little black deposits all over it. Olive brushed them off and assured us that the mouse had not eaten much because it found the crust to be "too tough." She is an R.N. although she is not nursing at present. She is on the Red Cross reserve and reports for duty once or twice a week. Just a happy-go-lucky soul who derives more from out of life than most people, because she takes nothing very serious.
So much for Olive. Doc, or Douglas Garvin her husband, is a short youngish looking chap who looks very queer in the uniform of a Lieutenant. He is quite pleasant, quiet and always somewhat concerned. He remains on duty for 24 hours and has 24 hours off. All in all he is quite a fine chap. They make quite a fine couple. Douglas is careful and regular in his habits. Olive does what she likes when she likes. I'm sure you would find them to be most congenial company. Olive is here now trying to knit a cardigan. She finds the pattern to be very complicated and she just remarked that she will likely finish the thing by spring. Doug is trying to study something concerning eyes.
Gee Dearie, I miss you so. Just think you are so many miles away when I want you here with me. We could so enjoy ourselves before this coal fire. Sometimes I feel like doing something rash just to bring you over. Why I am obliged to wait so long for word from the Air Force is a mystery to me. I keep hoping each day for work, only to have my hopes dashed to the ground. I am determined to join the Air Force and am most patient in waiting but there will be a limit even to my patience. One thing is certain I can join the army now at any time or the merchant marine. Failing the Air Force, I shall not waste further time, but I am not going to run any risk of missing anything that Critchley has for me. Do let me know what you think of it all.
I received only one letter from you last week. I have received every letter up to and including #11. By the way, a letter which has been sent to Barry Docks from Birmingham just cam to hand last week. In all probability a bundle of letters will come along before Thursday. I am going over to Richmond Wednesday for any mail that might be there for me.
Chestnuts are just roasted. They have a chestnut here, very sweet and mighty tasty. Olive says for you to come over soon. She wants to see you.
Heaps of love Sweetheart and hugs and kisses. It is almost our anniversary day. I am always thinking of you and want you so. Sleep tight and happy dreams.