February 21, 1942
Just the usual few lines just to let you know I’m still thinking of you now and then. I have got a brand new job in the stores now, having started on Wednesday. I like the work and as you probably know it offers the best possible chance of promotion in the army. I got back from leave on Tuesday and must say I had a very good time. The weather here is still quite cold though with no snow to speak of. We had a B.C.’s inspection this morning which went without hitch for me until the Major asked to see my identity disks. I got into a little hot water, because I had taken mine off to wash and had forgotten to replace it around my lovely white neck. Soap rationing has been in effect for the last week, so if you are caught with a dirty neck, you can always say you are out of coupons.
Things are certainly in a terrible mess in the East, aren’t they? It makes me sick to see how little we really had out there, in spite of all the assurances we had all that was necessary taken to protect our Eastern Empire. Well, Winter should be nearly over when this effort reaches you. I hope Alan has better luck this year with his crop, as I know how discouraging it can be when the weather won’t co-operate. It seems to me that the farmer’s salvation lies in livestock, so I hope to hear of the Swinton clan raising more and more of the beasties in the New Year.
Things over here haven’t changed much in the past twelve months, and I must say it is getting very tiresome to be a casual observer miles away from home and equally distant from the actual battle front. I expect by now that Audrey will be starting her training in the hospital. I feel quite sure she will do very well and feel certain the experience will do her a world of good, apart from the benefits derived from the training itself. I sometimes wonder if I will know the kids when this awful mess is cleaned up. I can’t for the life of me see how it can possibly end before 1944, at the very earliest, and this isn’t taking into account the delays caused by our stupidity. I know I shouldn’t wander back to this War situation, but the truth of the matter is that it has me worried. These repeated retreats, unless checked, can only end in one thing, and that is too terrible to consider.
Well, it is now almost eleven o’clock so I had better sign off and go to bed. Give my love to all the youngsters and save a large portion for the lame old lady whose second son used to annoy her every morning. Even if I don’t write, I think of you often, and long for the day when I can get home again.