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Date: February 1st 1942

Dear Family

Just received a batch of letters and my first Esquire from Hairp. I gather from Hairp that my Xmas presents to you didnt arrive until after New Years, which is sort of funny. Birks must have gone fast asleep at the switch.

Life is fairly dull at the moment but good fun just the same. As there is practically nowhere to go around here at night we just naturally stay in at night, so we've had some pretty good poker games in the mess. I'm running the mess at the moment which is about the most thankless job in the world, also superintending building the permanent mess, also organizing the regimental wet canteen so I've got lots to do.

Tommy Trenholme has just arrived back in Canada to instruct for a while. He was second-in-command of my company. His cable was sent from St. Marguerite which we thought was adding insult to injury. I don't imagine he'll stay in Canada permanently, only for a few months, then he'll come back to the regiment.

I see in an old letter that you ask about my baby Austin. I got rid of that last March; I thought I told you about it. I had a slight run-in with the Brighton police one night in that I was going too fast, my tax and license had just expired and so had my insurance(!!) So they cancelled my license for a year, and the local magistrate just refused to be talked out of it. They take a very poor view of people not having insurance over here, it's compulsory, and my explanation that we renew it automatically in Canada wasn't even believed. However, my license can be taken out again in March, but I dont think I'll buy Little Joe back, on account of petrol being very difficult to come by, and Army petrol is NOT to be used in private cars. Very sticky they are about that too. My driver used to sneak a little into the tank, sort of without my knowing about it, when things weren't so sticky, but what with shipping being scarce, its sort of a dirty trick.

Sorry I cant regale you with interesting side-lights on England At War, but I havent seen much except these here woods since I last wrote. We did go to Haslemere a couple of nights where there are some very interesting Wrens (able-bodied sea-women) who are pretty good fun.

Well, cheerio and love to you-all. Geoff