23 Jan 44
A letter from you at last, came on Thursday, Dated the 9 Jan, so there is one for the 2 Jan probably still wandering around, We have had quite a bit of confusion with mail, mostly arising from the use of our old number "10". As soon as people start using our new designation "30", things should straighten out. Looks as tho' there are two parcels from you still missing, the radio, and the second one with cake init. One came on the 9 Nov with cake, shirt tie, tobac etc, probably posted early in Oct. Incidently your cake was the best I got, and kept beautifully, it was a little damp at first, as you mention, but it was thoroughly cooked which is the important thing, and the dampness evaporates after its been opened a little while. I have not been short of tobacco either, as I had accumulated a small reserve stock, which I am still using. Also, we liked your own cookies much better than the "Dads". I think they are commercializing the latter now, for they are not as good as they were a few years ago. Yours were very much appreciated by all of us.
Have had quite a few messages of good wishes about the MBE, and to my way of thinking, these expressions of appreciation on the part of my family and friends, enhance the honour a lot. Am sending you one of the ribbons by surface mail. There will be an Investiture by the King in due course, and guess I'll have to scrub & polish up for once. I am allowed two guests, and of course you and Mary are my choice. As that can be only in spirit, Ecila and one of the Hayward girls will likely stand proxy. Will tell you all about it in due course, won't be for several weeks yet anyway.
I expect Mr Hall has my airgraph about Bill by now, but as Bill asked me not to tell his dad anything definite about his wound, I had to be rather indefinite. Bill has lost a foot. You must keep this to yourself until his folks know about it and give out the information themselves. Otherwise, his injuries are not serious as I understand, and I felt very badly when I read his letter, but as he says he was lucky to come out alive, and the loss of an eye or an arm would have been much greater handicap. We are making some effort to see if Bill can be retained on the Staff here after he convalesces, and if he is keen to carry on, which I think he will be. His qualifications and experience are unique, he would be a most valuable officer to have. Psychologically it would be the best thing too, especially to feel that he were still part of the show, like anybody else, during the time he is adjusting himself to the IDEA that he is lacking one foot. Shortly after I got Bill's letter, was through Cobham, and stopped in to say hello to Mrs Waugh, and told her that Bill had been wounded. I don't think she met Bill but she knows that Dad Hall is her brother's landlord. Well just the other day I received a letter from Mrs Waugh, she evidently got to thinking about this, she lives there by herself and has been crippled for some years. I didn't tell her what had happened to Bill, merely that he was wounded. Am sending her letter on to you, It shows what a fine, kind hearted person she is, and pretty smart in her deduction that it was likely in the lower limb.
Was very interested in what you had to say about Bob Richards. Am glad you like him. I guess we have spent quite a bit last year on gifts, both to my friends here, and to me. However, most of the people to whom I wanted to show gratitude to here have been fixed up. Also my dear, you have paid your husbands tobacco bill for the whole time too, except for cigarettes, which with me are a minor item. Hope the two remittances I sent in Dec and early this month will get there in time to help out with our usual New Year's expenses. January is a bad time to have insurance come due. I am really proud of the way you have handled our finances while I've been away.
Seemed to have had my cold licked last Sunday, but during the week it seems to have come back again, and haven't been feeling too good the last few days. Am quite alright, except it does reduce my efficiency. And just now we are very busy. I need a change of climate. The Mediterranean or the South Pacific Islands would be just right. Will be sending Nehru's Book home soon, also one I got of The County of London Plan, am sending the latter to Frank Swannell at once, as a present, but am keeping our copy to look at it first. It is beautifully edited & printed, but not too strongly bound for a book so large. Tell Frank that the book is his birthday present, for next yr or last which ever is the closest.
Well dear, I hope you and Mary are fit, and happy,