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Date: July 26th 1945


JULY 26, 1945

Dear Shirley,

With great trepidation I pick up my pen which so long has lain idle. I have been guilty of gross neglect. Now I am facing the music. In short, my sincere apologies for not writing for so long. I'm afraid I have been putting it off because I felt rather guilty about not getting your birthday present. At first I thought I would be able to get one for you over here. But no, I have failed. I wish I didn't make rash promises. I can just hear you saying to yourself Oh yes Dave always promises things he never intends to do. This is not so, I assure you.

After leaving London, we came more or less direct to this fair city. Moose & Andy, (the other two engineers with me in London) are standing by our ship. I'm standing by the other (name above).

For the first week we lived in a hotel. Then with a little wandering around and a lot of good luck we struck gold in the form of very good digs. Here we now dwell, living in comfort & plenty. We each have a nice room with comfortable bed and plenty of space for garment hanging. (I must hand my clothes up some time - of course they're keeping the dust off the floor as they are at the moment - but I'm told the room looks untidy)

Downstairs we have a room where we consume breakfast, have our evening snack, play gramophone records and read daily papers. (It has also served as temporary golf course, the particular shot brought to mind being played form outside the house. This necessitated entry through a previously intact but closed window. The result was somewhat shattering with the window-pane being broken on both sides)

Marking hours are pleasant. Nine in the morning till four-thirty in the evening. All day Sunday and Saturday afternoon off. We get called at seven thirty, but fail to rise till about eight. This procrastination tends to rush things a little producing indigestion from hastily consumed breakfast, and bad temper from having to rush in the first place. Transport picks us up at eight thirty and one starts to wake up and see life in a more pleasant light.

The days work done, we fill in the evening by dancing (a few good dances and a number of low night chilis provide amenities) playing golf (in which game we have started to take an interest) or in just reading. Occasionally a flick passes away a few for us.

As we possess markedly different characters we seldom go out together. Love wolves- I guess you'd call us. Andy has found himself a blonde who seems to fill in most of his spare time. Moose and I have been less (or more, as people think) fortunate.

Golf is the current topic of conversation. I started to learn the game a week ago. Losing five balls has not altogether damped my ardour so there is hope that I may learn a bit about the game before giving up altogether.

Had an embarrassing mix up with dates but managed to smooth things out in the end. Suggested to a Wren that we go down to the seaside on a Sunday, saying I'd ring up during the week. Met another girl during the week. Forgot to ring Wren. Went down to the seaside with girl. Hoped into carriage to find Wren sitting inside. 2 minute pause while I stuttered, turned purple and forgot to faint!

Lost interest in other girl and tried to get in good with the Wren. What happens - she goes on draft to Yeovil! boy, do I get the breaks (or should that be spelt brakes!)

It is now about 2300 and I'm looking forward to my bed.

Played golf this afternoon. I was rotten and have not been in a particularly good mood. Good snack and a pint of milk (Get lots of milk here) put me in a better frame of mind.

Well, surely, that's all to tell up to the present. Will end this humbled note. Hoping to hear form you soon eve if it's just to call me names and tell me you're no longer wasting postage on me. (I could stand the names and I'll send you some stamps, if necessary!)

Hope all is going well with you. Plenty of sunshine and a bit of swimming. My regards to you and the family.


Dave (the [?])

P.S. Any resemblance between this and writing paper is purely incidental. Dave.