England, 11 Oct 42
This is something new for us, and I'm told that we can only send them to Canada, even so, it can be forwarded from 936 Heywood, and reach you sooner than ordinary airmail direct to California. I like these much better than the airgraphs, because they don't' have to be processed, and they get away quicker, they are private, and of course much easier to read. And then, too, you can get more on them.
Your airgraph of 20 Sept arrived 5 Oct, and very welcome, as always. A very good one from Frank Swannell too, from Bella Bella, I really think Frank is enjoying life again, meeting lots of interesting people, and he's the sort that the young fellows will make a bit of a fuss over, also he will see plenty to criticise and to compare with the way they did it in the last war. He will be in fine fettle when he hears that Lorne is now a Major. His promotion came through this week end. He has earned it too, he is a hard-working and conscientious officer, and he is very loyal to his men. He's the very image of Frank, looks more like him every time I see him. Dick Farrow and I had supper with him last Monday night, at his HQ, Dick had to give a lecture to them, so was thoughtful enough to call and pick me up enroute. We had a pleasant visit together.
Dick Farrow is giving a paper to the Royal Geographic Society next month, on Snow Surveys in the Cordillera of Western North America, a specialty of his, and it should be a good paper. Mr Hinks had asked me if I knew anybody among my Cdn Army friends who might be a likely speaker for some of their meetings this season. I suggested Dick Farrow at once, and he will fill the bill well.
Had supper with the Morris's last night, and Mrs M had just received your airgraph of the 24 Sept. She was so pleased, and to know that the purse arrived safely. She thinks I must have a wonderful wife to be able to write a letter like that one. Both she and Ecila would love to see you and Mary. I tell them they will have to fly out as soon as the war is over, and that we will look around for a good husband for Ecila, and even might be able to find a boy friend for Mrs M. They both had the sniffles up there last night, but Mrs M is really better now.
I can just imagine what a wonderful time Mary is going to have on the trip to Calif with her Mummy and Aunt Ruth. She will be a frightful gadabout, but it will do her good. As you say, they will probably spoil her, but I think it is a good thing to expose children to a bit of spoiling, as long as you can counteract it, or rather try to make her immune. If you can succeed in accomplishing that, then you have something. My old aunt, (father's sister), a remarkable old lady, used to believe in telling children the nice things about them, in such a way that they would get used to it, without becoming snobs or affected, so that when they stepped out among the world of people, they would not be swept off their feet, or too much impressed when their new acquaintances said nice things about them. In other words, if you know that people are going to admire Mary's pretty curls, (like her mother's), or how well she sings, or dances, then its better to get her used to being complimented about it, at home, where you can teach her to realize that these are gifts from the Creator, through her ancestors, and that she should be grateful for them, and consider them sacred, to be used for making others happy. - My goodness, what started me on this!
I had dinner with the newlyweds on Friday night, at their flat in town. They start back to work yesterday. It was fine chicken dinner, cooked by Harold. I think they should be a very happy couple. They gave me a picture of Harold and me at the door of the church, before the wedding. It turned out not bad, so have sent it on to you. I look very bland, grinning from ear to ear. I was trying to exert a steadying influence on Harold, who was getting a bit jittery about that time. I could help thinking about our own little wedding, in between times, and how nice it was. It will be four years ago this week, my we are getting on, aren't we? Do you remember our night at Gang Ranch, and the little sprinklings of confetti at the queerest places along the trip. Yes, I think we are due for a second honeymoon, and I have an idea it will be as good, or even better than the first one. Anyway I should be quite such a nervous and embarrassed young bachelor.
The weather has been quite blustery this week, and the leaves are beginning to thin out on the trees, and color up a bit. I had a good long bike ride this afternoon, up to Shepperton-on-Thames, and had tea with the Bevans at their cottage on the river. They are living in London now, but come out to the island for the week ends to finish up the jobs on the garden, and to get a bit of fresh air. They always make me very welcome, and are disgusted when I won't stay for the evening. It is a long way to ride home in the blackout.
I think the insurance on the house was a very good piece of business, and the rate is quite reasonable. Hope you are able to get the driveway negotiated OK. All countries are beginning to feel the pinch now, and no doubt there are a lot of things that you will find it difficult to get. Don't send me things which are rationed. We get plenty of sugar so keep all you can get for you and Mary. In fact many's the time I've been far worse off for food, out on survey in the mountains than we are here, and as you may observe in the photo, I'm not losing any weight.
I think they made an awful blunder on this nasty chaining of prisoners business. They played right into the German's trap. The dirty trick of the Nazis should have been ignored completely right from the start, and the press should have been throttled completely on the matter. It would have saved a lot of anxiety for the relatives and the Germans would have abandoned it.