Wed. Dec. 15/43
My Dearest Mother,
Tonight I am on fire watch and have to stay up all night so have lots of time. Two of us are in each hotel. I'm still in Bournemouth - doing nothing and probably will be till after Xmas. Haven't been getting much mail lately - one from you and Dad in the past three weeks, also no parcels and am waiting anxiously as hunger for good food is a common occurance over here. Walt has had three parcels but Bill and Sandy are in the same boat as myself. Walt has just come out of the hospital were he has been for the last four days with a cold.
The four of us were very lucky today. The waitress at our favorite tea shop - a fine lady who treats us swell said she would supply real steaks if we got mushrooms so we had a swell feed at her place. I also had a glass of milk - my first over here. We spent most of our money on food there.
Mother I want you to sit down for a surprise - I'm going to try to finish off my grade XII and a bit more. I'll be taking one subject at a time by correspondence through the Educational Officer. I'm starting by taking French. The four years of it can be taken in four months if I work steady. Then I will start on the rest of the subjects. Really hope I can finish it although I have no idea what I will be doing after the war. Walt is taking Junior Matric. Math and Sandy is taking XI and XII French so we can all help each other. Speaking of French, the hotel we are staying in tonight is filled with three Frenchmen who are in the Air Force and can't speak a word of English. Six months ago we were fighting them in N.W. Africa.
I had a letter from Mrs. Hawksworth really wanting Walt and I to come back the end of this month. Did you receive a letter from her. Her daughter Ann - who is in the army will be home then and she wants to see us. If we are still here we will probably go up as it is just like a second home. Did you receive my letter telling you what we did up there?
So glad to hear that you have moved to Saskatoon. Tell Dad he doesn't know how lucky he is being with such a swell wife and family and never go far away as he will really miss them.
Hope you are sending some cigs. as I have only enough to last me till the end of the month. It's possible to get a poor brand over here but they are very expensive. I believe you can chocolates through the smile's N' Chuckles Co. very cheap, as some of the boys have received some. If at all possible I wish you could send some gum but I believe you can only get that in the city. Something else you could put in is some cheese and a tooth brush as its impossible to get one over here.
I didn't get into London to see Milton after all as I was broke. I'm hoping to see him yet though. A batwoman just brought us some cocoa and sandwiches so must sign off. I'm writing to Earny after this.
All my love,
P.S. Did you receive the pair of clog shoes I sent you?