Sunday, yesterday, was pretty well all spent on Mess Accounts. I am the Bar member of the mess committee, and it took the whole day till midnight checking over the stock, and getting the bar accounts into shape for the end of the month. I broke off for an hour in the afternoon to ride the bicycle up to Morris's for afternoon tea. They urged me to stay for supper, too, and it was a great temptation, however I resisted. Had hoped to get the bar accounts finished up in time to write this, but an elusive 10 shillings difference in the balance evaded discovery till too late. The bar doesn't take much of my time, as I have my faithful batman Alf on the job as bar steward, and he carries on very efficiently, however once a month I have to go over everything pretty thoroughly, and prepare a statement.
Last week was filled with social engagements it seems. Bert Hammond was spending his leave at Morris's, and of course I was in demand to make a fourth. One evening down to the Running Horses Inn at Mickleham for dinner. Went down by bus and walked back, Another evening to the local flick, and back to Morris's for coffee and a late supper. Ecila had made the most wonderful lemon pie with your lemon powders, and they were so pleased to have them. They get quite a few eggs from the son who lives in the country, in Somerset. So the main essentials of a lemon pie were in hand. It made me think of the lemon pies and the lemon puddings my wife makes. Boy it will be heaven to get back and get busy on your special dishes again. Upside down cakes. Strawberry waffles with whipped cream. Oh oh. Then on Saturday afternoon, I went up to town and met the others and went to a revue, "fine and Dandy". and back to Morris's again for dinner, and as usual, they ki8lled the fatted calf. Sunday, I simply had to stay in and get caught up with work. Bert just called in here a few minutes ago, on his way back to the Svy Coy, by bus, after a whole week of being spoiled by the Morris's. I don't know how we can ever repay them. The revue on Saturday was not as good as any of the plays we have seen during the last year. After all, its pretty hard to beat a good play, and a revue has to be a masterpiece to be any good at all. Personally I think they are a waste of time and money. It was Bert's treat.
Had a very appreciative letter from Ted Sturgeon. He was thrilled with the little gift you sent for him. Poor old man, I wish he could get back to Victoria, he must be very lonely. They are talking about half his pension from Canada in income taxes, which I think is an injustice in his case. Old age pension, of people who have worked all their lives, and systematically put something by toward their pension, of all things they should be immune from taxation.
Last week brought your letter of 26 April, with Mary's contribution, airgraphs of 10 and 17 May from you, and airgraph of 11 May from Gert. I wonder if tomorrow is her wedding day. My, I hope she and Rae have things work out for them happily. Gertrude seemed hopeful in her airgraph, but a little worried about details. Bert reminds me so much of Mary, her sister, and like Mary, her wedding arrangements seem a bit hectic right up till the last minute. I hope she will find the same happiness that Mary has done. I should like to cable them. Am glad you thought about getting her some nice things that she will need.
Am sorry to hear about Dorothy Phipps, and that her sickness is to be without its reward. Perhaps they will have their wish someday. We have been lucky haven't we, my only regret is that Mary should have a little brother before she gets along too far. Am sorry about the little trouble you had at Dorothy's, I guess when people are sick, they are not too well in their minds too. Yes dear, I shall be glad when you and Mary are back in our own little home, but it wont be long, and the change has no doubt done you both a lot of good. Anyway dear, I would never tell you "I told you so", I think I would just kiss you. We do need each other, it is hard for you, and I don't mind telling you, its hard for me too. Someday we will make up for it all.
What a calamity for the Swannells having Brian get appendix just as his parents arrived home. Children are full of surprises. Anyway, I hope he has recovered by this time, and they will all be in high jinx. Am looking forward to the pictures, and hope you got the ones I sent, have a couple more prints kicking around, so will enclose them with this, just to make sure. If they all arrive, you can send one or two to my family. It is a coincidence that Gert should be getting married on 2 June, that is my mother's birthday. Tomorrow. I wish she could have known my wife, she would have been very very happy. I don't think it will hurt Mary at all to go barefoot in the warm weather, if she wants to. I remember how I used to like to do that too. If I had my way, children would wear no clothes at all when the summer is warm. It wouldn't hurt the odd grownup either. Am afraid this war is making more of a Pagan out of me than ever. Glad you heard Churchill's last speech. I missed it, and was very disappointed. I much prefer to hear him then to read his speech in the paper next morning.
Mrs Morris has fixed up all my shirts, including a couple I bought here with separate collars. She has shortened the sleeves too, so I am in a good position in the shirt line. I still have some Nestles Coffee, and some Klim. I prefer this combination to the Bordens prepared coffee. The Klim is especially a luxury. I never saw such awful milk as we get in the mess. It is a sickening solution of about one third skimmed milk and 2/3 water. It makes such a disgusting mess of tea or coffee, that I rarely drink mine, preferring to make a cup of yours in the office during the morning or evening.
We now have a push bicycle as part of our office equipment. Today the weather was fine and settled after weeks of showers and storms, so I cycled up to the Survey Coy, for lunch, and back this pm. It was a lovely trip. Only about 6 miles each way, but through pretty country. I wrote a little note to Mr Hinks last week, and he has replied from the hospital. I think he was pleased that I had written, and he has agreed to come to Victoria after the war to see the telescope, and my wife and baby. Bert Hammond says he has quite persuaded Ecila Morris to come out to Vancouver Island after too. She has a small income, which would keep her off the streets if money is worth anything afterwards.
Yesterday I arranged another shipment of $134.10 to you. It should make its appearance around the middle of July. It will help your financial programme along a bit. Looks as though by fall you should have things pretty well tidied up, if all goes well. You've done very well dear.
Big things seem to have been developing in the various areas of the war. We seem at last to be getting into the critical stages. May be the pendulum will start swinging in our favor soon. And then.....
Give my best to the Garmans.