30 Cdn Air Survey Liaison Sec, RCE
Cdn Army, England.
17 Oct 44
Another full day in town, and your letter of the 8th waiting for me when I got back for supper. You have quite an overseas list for Xmas, what with Alf's daughter included. Her name is Irene, and seems to be doing fine. So far her father seems to be quite loyal to his "woman" and their combined responsibility. He goes over whenever he can get away, My goddaughter, Ann Elizabeth is probably in Canada by now, as Mrs Meuser and daughter moved up to the North country when the doodle bugs were so bad, with the alleged plan of going back to Canada at the first opportunity. As Col Meuser is in France, with the army, there wasn't much point in the family remaining in England, especially when the busbombs were such a menace. I don't know what Mrs Meuser's address will be in Canada, but it is possible I may be seeing him in the next three weeks, and could get it them, otherwise I can write him.
Am off early tomorrow morning for an excursion of about a week's duration, which ought to be very interesting. Will not be able to get a letter off to you till I get back, however, it shouldn't be more than a week. Will be able to tell you more about it when I get back. Last week Alf and I drove up to an American airbase in Norfolk where I've been a couple of times before, we stayed overnight, and evidently the GI's made quite a fuss over Alf, and filled him up with beer. He was bright as a pin next morning, however, and think he enjoyed the change.
Your candle sticks sound quite fine, and I much prefer you to buy that sort of thing than me, because they have to be dusted once in a while. I did buy several little brass figures of Burmese origin last winter, but stored them in a box at BC House in London, they were rather quaint, altho Ecila ventured the opinion that they were simply dust gatherers, and not worth the money. Also have a little brass elephant, its an East Indian house god, seated cross-legged in the style of a Buddha, it just occurred to me that Mary might like it, so will send it, as it is here. Think it is supposed to be a god of opulence and money.
Last Saturday we had our first party, and what a bunch of local lassies the boys gathered in for it. Bill, Harry and I, supplied the drinks, beer, and a special punch, mixed up with Rum and gin for a base, a quart of cider, ginger ale, and a can of preserved cherries, and some of your lemon powder to tune it up. It was extremely smooth and palatable, and had quite a wallop. However, no one got at all the worse for wear. The boys got up a wonderful buffet supper, including a delicious salad, mayonnaise, etc, some custard, and cakes. The patronesses were Miss Carr, and Mrs Howell, the two YMCA ladies from Woking, who visit us with a tea van once or twice a week, and are very kind. Everybody had a fine time. Alf called for a square dance, but the local ladies need a bit more coaching in it. Was sorry that Ecila was away, because she would have liked it too. Bill sang some of his witty songs, which were a great treat, and Sergeant Webster recited a French Canadian poem, one of his "suitable" ones for mixed company. he is a clever mimic.
Bill got a letter from John Rodd which he let me read, with some details on Mill Bay, incl a sketch showing the disposition of his and Bills property in relation to Haywards. Havent had time to see Bert since getting your letter, but he has called on the phone a couple of times. Had hoped to have gone down there this week end with Bill, but will be away.
Babby Basso must be getting to be quite a Victorian. I wonder if she finds it anything like England. I suppose Harold is busy. Give them my regards. Your parcel with the sox, shorts, braces cookies etc arrived the other day, also one from the Keyhole. Think the shorts will be OK, they look a trifle large, but having no elastic stretch, they will likely be about right around the waist. Alf has instituted a systematic campaign to make me wear out my old sox, he hides all my new ones away, and only puts out the old ones. He is really quite a remarkable fellow, whom I hope you will meet someday.
I shall be glad to get the "time" magazine, make it a Xmas present from you and Mary. Apparently her initiation is now a think of the past, and she is getting along nicely at "school". Her experience will be something to look back on. Have been reading quite a bit of Dickens lately, find him a wonderful antidote to all this serious sort of life we have to live these days. Some of his child characters are a bit sad, but there is a great deal of human nature in his writings. Thought I'd better simplify the will business, as you see, and figure that you could make any disposition of odds and ends of a sentimental nature to my sisters and brother. Also anything for Leila. However have been taking yeast tablets, in lieu of brewers yeast which is hard to get. Meant to send you some money but haven't had time yet. Will when I return. Glad your eyes are behaving.