I have caught up to where I had finished my little writing exercise so I moved forward this evening and am from now on going to date the letters so you have an idea of when she was writing them. I take out some of the family stuff but try to keep in the items about her feelings, the people she was meeting etc. I will be interested to see if any of my cousins have met any of these people along the way growing up. Such as in yesterdays entry she talked about running into the James fellow – was that Kelly and Doug’s dad???? or an uncle of theirs. who knows?
March 9, 1944
After all this time I finally received a bunch of letters forwarded from Debert. There were 8 from Mother, Dad, Ferg, Sheila, Norah and John and Mary. All the time I was away I heard from the family all the time which kept me up to date with everything going on at home.
I was working fairly hard by then. We received a lot of casualties from Italy. The poor lads were in pretty bad shape and so young, all 19 or 20. It breaks my heart but they are all very brave on the whole and real devils some of them.
I went shopping in Aldershot the other day. There are lots of nice things in the stores but people don’t have enough coupons to buy anything. They get 20 coupons for three months and a coat takes 18 or a dress 10 so everyone over here looks very shabby especially the shoes. The most dreadful things and no stockings. I see a lot I would love to buy and send home but fear they would never get there.
The shops are very quaint. Bells tinkle when you open the doors and no one cares if you buy anything. I love the book stores. I am going to try and pick up some “prints” over here. There are perfect ones. The “Old curiosity Shop” on the Stand in London is wonderful. I’ll send you something from there soon. The streets too are very funny. Sometimes there is no sidewalk and the shops are on the edge of the road. It’s all so exactly as I pictured it or as I saw in the Christmas cards or in the movies.
I heard from Bob Daymond today. It is really pathetic how glad he is about me being here. He is coming down one nite soon to see me. He is just back recently from N Africa. He has been over 3 years and 8 mos and is so lonesome. In his letter he said “ hearing that you had graduated and were here so far from home is like being transported again outside on the street on a balmy day and playing hopscotch or something, remember?” He said ‘It’s like finding a long lost sister”. As I have said that seems to be the feeling everyone gets over here about anyone you knew from home.
March 13, 1944
Ferg and Connie were moving into their new house and I sent them flowers – well wired for flowers to be delivered for their house warming party. I love all the letters especially the ones that talk about the little kids.
All travel to Ireland was banned in 1944 so I guess I won’t get there at this point. Was hoping to go over on leave. I read in the paper all the Canadian propaganda that Walter Winchell gives us. No more than we deserve but over here I am always hearing remarks about how little Canada does and it makes me mad.
Sat. nite I went to a marvelous party at the Malpaquay mess (one of the nicest mess’s) It was a St. Patrick’s Day party. We got corsages of carnation and we were allowed to pin them on our uniforms. The orchestra was part of the “Army Shows Big Band” and it was wonderful.
Sunday night I was invited to Reynolds for dinner. I had a very nice time. They had lots of other guests.
Then Friday night I was up to the supper dance at the Queens Hotel. It is the nearest hotel to the camp and every nite hundreds of officers go there – stag but couples go also. It is about the only placed that is very nice, no near. Anyway, I was sitting there and I felt someone starring at me and I looked up and it was Phil Grandjean. I was so surprised. He was up to practice some football for their next game which is very soon. He is a Capt. We had a long chat. I keep reliving my past. Everyone I meet recalls to my mind events and other people etc that I have nearly forgotten because so much else had happened.
The weather in March in England is like May in Canada. I have spring fever. Hate working. Mother had written asking if I wanted a prayer book but I told her I had the lovely one she gave me in 1942 but that she could send me a crucifix. And I assured her not to worry about my religion, nothing could happen to that, one doesn’t throw away good things.
I went to Guilford shopping the other day. It is the sweetest little town. We have to take a train from the North Camp and it only takes about 20 minutes. I love taking trains every where and they come like clockwork every 30 minutes.
As I read more and more about Pat I think, where is the war in all of this? I am sure she was working very hard but since they were not able to tell all in letters she stuck to the fun stuff. And boy what a social life they had. It blows me away at times thinking about it. And all those Queen’s and Kingston connections. Lucky lady to have all those men checking up on her to make sure she was safe.
It was lovely and sunny here today. I went to Home Depot to check on prices of items for the kitchen. The fellow is coming tomorrow to talk about what we want to do and hopefully to give me a price. New counters, tile for back splashes, paint the room and screen the wood floor to clean it up. Then we move on to the bathroom, new cabinet and flooring and maybe a new toilet. I already painted and had new walls around the tub and lower parts of the wall. Talk about doing something half assed. that is what this project has been. Seem to be coughing again. This is not good. Do not need a third infection in three months.