March 12, 2015 – the dog races, church services and more fun

Today I accomplished two things. I picked up the pieces of pottery that I painted last week for the raffles for Open Doors Ontario in May and painted two more pieces to be picked up at a later date. I might even make a couple more of these special items for some special people.   I am not talented artistically but they are kind of cute.  I might even post some pictures of them tomorrow.

On the way home I cracked my tooth and stopped at the dentist office to get an appointment for tomorrow.  Tomorrow will be a busy day. Meeting at 11:00, dentist at 12:30 and then working on a grant for some friends of mine in the afternoon.  This afternoon when I arrived home I was so tired I could hardly hold my head up.  Not sure what is wrong but I am way too tired all the time. And don’t tell me it is my age. I have been going out walking, taking my vitamins etc but I cannot get up in the morning and all I want to do is sleep during the day even when I am happy and busy.  So not even sure one could pin this on depression.  Oh well. I am sure I will figure it out soon enough.

Three letters from Pat still waiting to hear where they will be sent. No medical work to be done since they are packed and ready to move.  Hopefully it will come soon..  Enjoy

Lieut. (n/s) P O’Connor
No 8 Cdn Gen Hosp
July 8, 1944

Hello Dear, (Madeline)
I got your sweet letter yesterday and it was so good to hear. You always tell me so much news. I had heard that you were sick!  What a shame. And gall stones are so terribly painful, poor you. I hope you are much better now.

The family probably gives you all my news or what there is of it.  We are in a grand spot now and the people are very good to us. They stop us in the streets or in the buses and ask if they can entertain us.  I met the Edlins who are one of the most influential people in the town and every day they want to take me somewhere.  Yesterday afternoon we went to the “dog races” and it was more fun.  I won about ten shillings bet on every race so that wasn’t too bad of course they had all the “tips” so it wasn’t just luck.  Sat nite went to a lovely party at a nearly ….. and it was very nice but a bit interrupted by the p-planes. We kept rushing out to watch them go over.  Big spurts of flames shoot out from them and they go very fast. The ach-ach guns keep after them.. sort of like a Fourth of July celebration.

The country is gorgeous now but the weather is as bad as ever. You never see anyone in summer clothes over here even on warm days. They wear shawls with fur collars. What a place!
I’ve had some letters from friends in Normandy. Poor lads. They are really having a tough time. It still kills me that all our best men – Canada’s best have had to go through this. That goes for Americans too because they are in the majority and really winning this war for us.  Aren’t they wonderful!

Well my pet, do get all better and take good care of yourself. If you ever want anything especially tell Marye, because she has control of my very modest fortune (ha-ha) and I would gladly get it as you know. I’m sorry I can’t do more for everyone. Say a big hello to Arthur and Mrs Green and lots of love to you Mad dear. Pat O’Connor

Lieut (n/s) P O’Connor
No 8 Cdn Gen Hosp
9 July 44’

Hello Dears:
Still tearing around but am being taken everywhere so it doesn’t cost anything. Thank goodness. One could go through a fortune down here. I have that fifty dollars still intact that I sent for. I don’t want to touch any of my savings but feel better knowing I have it handy in case I ever need it. By the way, hasn’t my income tax return ever showed up? And I suppose Marye that I am sharing the gifts we give with you – you will be quite a secretary by the time I return, but I just can’t keep up with things from away over here.

Yesterday the Edlins took me to the “dog-races”. Had more fun. Was ten shillings to the good by the end of the afternoon. They want to entertain me very day but of course I have so darn many other things. Last nite went to a good party at the near-by mess.

I manage to go to Mass every day. To-day Padre O’Leary gave the sermon in this church we go to. Just a couple of blocks away. He, of course, did very well by us. It was nice to hear him for a change and he is so plain and down to earth. I wish all priests were like him. He must have had a lot of converts in his life. I hope you all meet him after the war. I get him to say Mass for mother and Dad frequently so they should be good ones. I imagine he has a lot of influence. I also burn candles each day for you all – so you won’t get into any trouble while I’m not there to keep on eye on you.
Saw Bill Moors last nite at the party. Very friendly because I had never met him. He said Dad was a great pal of his and to say hello to him and Marye. Saw also Allen Smith who knew Marye at Queens. It doesn’t matter where I go I see people we know.

I’ve had letters from Normandy. Dick and Norm are over. Also a lot of lads in the Imp I know and some others. Of course I’ve heard of so many already who are dead. What a dreadful war!

I phone Sheila once or twice a day and see her as often as possible. I am hoping to have her down here tomorrow. she will love this place.

Well, I just thought I would start this but I see I’m finished one again. so I’ll send it off.
love Patt.
(Do you get tired of seeing my name five times. I do!!)

Lieut (n/s) P O’Connor
No 8 Cdn Gen Hosp
July 13, 1944

Dear Mother and Dad:
Here I sit in my room. I have to laugh at it. It looks exactly like the back-room of a tailor’s shop. Rows of khaki shirts and slacks etc hanging all over. A clothes line extends from one end of the room to the other and it is always loaded down with our daily washings. I have about three vases of roses which we knock over every time we move the vases, being tin cans, so it is alright but what a sight!

Sheila and Mary K came down on their day off and stayed over nite. I got them a room at my favourite hotel. We had a grand time. I showed them all I could of the town. I think I will go to see Sheila today for awhile.

Yesterday Lib and I went up to the Golf club. The one I had the snaps taken in front of. It is close to where I used to be. I can’t mention names. The people there are so nice to us. We had a perfect dinner and Sandy D met us. He had a jeep along so he brought us all the way back. It was a warm nite and very bright. It was a lovely drive. The search lights were all on and I like to watch them. A couple of p-planes went over. Thank goodness we are not in their direct route – one wouldn’t get much rest. The people in London are wild, poor things. Every nite a few go over us. I usually sleep right through but now and again I get up to watch them. They sound like a big bumble bee and go very quickly, flames spurt out the back. I dislike them needless to say.

I hear from Dick and Norm regularly. They find France very interesting. Have great admiration for the Americans and also the British. They are so glad they are over there where it is so safe They don’t get the buzz-bombs it seems. Crazy war!!!!! Anyway it will be wonderful to see them again.
I am sending you a couple of more pictures taken in the back yard. A man come around to take them. Not very good but I like to have one of each place we are. One is with my roommates and one alone. Sent them in ordinary mail.

Love Pat
I found this diary of a chaplain during WWII. He was an American but I notice the way he writes is similar to Pat. I am beginning to think in order to survive they had to be able to put aside feelings and focus on facts and situations.  I found this fellows diary very interesting and read several of the pages his nephew posted.


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