Feb. 2nd, 1943
Dear Mom and Dad,
I have just got back from spending 48 hours leave in London. Last Thursday I got a letter from Mary stating she was coming to London for the weekend and could I possibly get up there to see her because I had not seem her on my last leave. I took it up with my CO. and he was very nice about it, gave me a total of 63 hrs. altogether which was very good of him I thought. I had to pay my own railway fare though and that was quite a shock, even at the reduced fare for Forces. It was 28/6 or about $7.00. So I arrived in London with about 1/. But Mrs. Beverly insisted upon giving me 2 more, so I was alright. I slept at the flat because the club was full. Mary arrived about 2.30 on Saturday afternoon and brought a parcel of WAAF.'s with her, so I was forced to evacuate. Mrs. Griffiths whom I think I have mentioned before, took me in so that I wouldn't occupy a bed at the club which is always full-up on Saturday and Sunday. The first thing Mary did was hop out of uniform, into a tub and then into civvies. My gosh what a difference clothes make! Then we went to the theatre - saw Bobby Howes in "Let's Face it" and American musicale with music by Gershwin so you can guess it was pretty good. Then I took Mary out to dinner to a little place I know in Dean Street, Soho. It is called ‘Garda' and is run by a Hungarian refugee. The cuisine is marvelous, absolute heaven! You'd never guess in 3000 years what we had to eat! Remember, this is wartime rations and the restauranteers are restricted to 7/6 per head in cover charge and cabaret. Well, we had lobster cocktail to begin with. (Of course it was all in French but I can only remember the English translations) Then we had potato patties - beautifully spiced, green peas and mint sauce and (hold your hat) venison with the most heavenly burgundy sauce I have ever tasted! Can you imagine that? Then we had strawberry trifle with cream, black coffee with sugar and the smoothest, tangiest glass of Hungarian sweet sherry I have ever tasted, ‘Tooke' 1904, it was - and absolutely, beyond description! I hate to look ahead 20 or 30 years to the time when there will be no more French, Italian and Hungarian wines for of course; the vintage that should be going into cellars now is being used for other things.
On Sunday we went to the recording studios of the BBC. and saw the actual recording performance of "Tommy Get Your Fun" with Tommy Trinder whom you may remember I saw once before in "Best Bib and Tucker". Mary was with me then too. Funny, she seems to be mixed up somehow in every happy memory I have in England. When I arrived home here again, I found a letter from her which considerably shocked me. I will show it to you later on. But it has made things clear for me. Now must close. Love to all. Write soon.
Your loving son,