9 Bonamy St.,
London, S.E. 1
Another letter from you tonight, No. 45. That makes everything perfect. Just think, Dearie, I haven't lost a single letter of yours for a very long time. I think the last one missing is No. 37. I do hope you are having the same success in receiving mine. You did seem to be without mail from me at Xmas, hoping that you would be well supplied over the holiday season. How do the numbers check? Are there many missing ones?
I'm very glad that you had at least a part of a Xmas. It is not a bit pleasant to be from you on such an occasion and I have a little notion you don't enjoy it any more than I do. I can thank your family that you, at least, had a turkey dinner, and it tickled me to know that you ate my share of the turkey [We can only read between the lines to see what Helen might have written to Bill, but occasionally we get glimpses of it.] The children seemed to enjoy themselves immensely. Margaret & Barb are getting so grown up now they are no longer kids, are they?
It is wonderful how mild the weather has turned again. Since Monday we have had quite a bit of rain and generally the temperature has not been below 45F or so. Roofing has not been too bad a job since Monday--except for the rain.
Last evening I went over to 142 Blackheath to visit Olive Davis, (Olive Gavin's friend). I think I told you her father is a Thames pilot. Her people live at Gravesend and Olive, because her office is not far from Blackheath has a room at 142 Blackheath Hill, where Olive Gavin lived. She seems to be rather a fine sort and takes her work very seriously. She is mighty brave to stay in Blackheath all alone--although she has other friends in the same house. During an air raid they all go to the basement.
I took some pieces of staves covered with rosin, which I obtained from where I work, and burned them in the grate. The room was a s cold as a barn, when I arrived but the wood, as long as it lasted, gave out splendid heat. Fuel is quite a problem here, more because of price and transport facilities than anything. There is plenty of coal in the country but of course transportation is uncertain. Coal dealers are very independent and don't seem to care if they serve you or not. Evidently Olive is a very fan of needlework. She showed me two or three frames of designed needlework that she has recently completed. They are very pretty. Sort of modernistic effect. Her office is situated at one of the prominent docks along the Thames and is exposed to exceptionally frequent visits by Jerry. Olive doesn't seem to mind. She is the only girl left on the staff of the company for which she works. The others decided to get out of it and left the district.
I heard from Betty yesterday. She has got settled and thinks she will like it at Ipswich. Her address is: E.M. Gliddon, Y.M.C.A. Hostel, Fonnereau Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, Eng.
I received a short note from Mrs. Doran's daughter (Mrs. Knight) today. She is coming to Bonamy St. Sunday morning and Ernie, Mrs. Doran's son-in-law and Mrs. Knight and I shall go to the hospital to see Mrs. Doran. Latest report states she is 'out of danger'. Heaps of love Dearie. Talk all you like. I'll stay away. A big hugh & kiss.
Well, let's read another one
9 Bonamy St.,
Have just finished reading the paper. It is rather a cold night and I'm sitting here alone as all other members of the household are away. Mrs. Doran is in hospital, Ernie, her son, and his wife (who is visiting here for awhile, she is an evacuee living in Wales) are away tonight so I am chief cook and bottle washer. And I might say, precious few bottles there were to be washed tonight. It's queer how few dishes one can soil when the same one has to wash them.
I received letter No. 44 from you yesterday. It contained a letter from Florence also, and, something for which I thank you greatly, your snap. I am more than grateful to you for being so considerate, Sweetheart. It is wonderful now Marjorie is growing. I didn't think she would be as large as she is. I wish I were with you to help amuse her. The snow looked like old times. The bit we had here didn't last more than a day or so, and since then we have had more rain than anything.
I enjoyed reading Frances' letter. I owe her one and shall definitely promise to write it before this letter reaches you. I'm very glad Cecil is doing so well. He more than deserves it. It will make a new man of him.
Still, I have heard nothing from the Air Force. I can't understand it. Almost a whole month has passed since I sent in my dentists certificate. I think I shall have to take a day off and go to town to stir things up a bit. I am becoming more than disgusted with having to wait so long.
I received a splendid letter from Mrs. Dunham today. She mentioned that she received a letter from me and your Xmas card at the same time. She was very glad to hear from you. I enclose the letter.
Last evening Olive Davis and I went to the 'Prince of Wales' and saw the "Great Dictator." We both liked it very much and thought Chaplin was excellent in both roles of dictator and barber. [This was a spoof on Hitler.] Paulette Goddard, also, was very good. After the picture we went over to the famous Carver House (Lyon's tea shop) in Leicester Square and had the first bite to eat that we had had since noon. We took our time eating and then sat and commented on all the people we saw coming and going to the pleasant strains of a very good orchestra. I know your ears must have been burning as we dwelt long on the pictures I have of you and just how much you would have enjoyed being there. It reminded me a bit of the 'Red Barn' in New York except that there was no dancing, games or anything except the orchestra. The walls are treated in tiles to appear like roofs of buildings surrounding a tea garden, you know, a sitting-out place to eat, not a place where tea grows. We were lucky to be able to sit there until 12 o'clock then we took the underground to Elephant & Castle, and observed the people sleeping, or trying to do so, on the cement platforms at the underground station. We could only get a short tram ride from the Elephant and had to walk the rest of the way, about three miles, and then I had to walk back many miles to Bonamy St. I got home at 2:45. I'll bet Olive is tired today. I have to go to 142 Blackheath Hill tomorrow night to take her a piece of board, that I got from the factory. She wants is for an ironing board.
I heard from Olive Gavin yesterday. She is living with her parents at Chippenham. Douglas is with a field ambulance unit and expects to have leave soon. Betty is making acquaintance of new friends in Ipswich and seems to be feeling brighter than she did at first.
I long and long for you, my love, and miss you terribly. I know how you must feel too. Let us hope for better things to come our way soon.
Heaps of love and hug me tight. One Big kiss and hug for you to comfort you.
I'm not kidding. It will happen.