Sunday 29 Sept 74
Dearest Susan, Tonia and Cameron,
Your letters continue to come in the strangest order. The one dated 18 Sept arrived today but one dated 20 Sept came 2 days ago. But at least they are coming. I'm sorry you are finding it a bit rough but with the fall season underway and a trip to Toronto to look forward to, maybe the time will go by a bit quicker. I find the days zipping by and, as you say, it is probably easier when you are busy. I am certainly that. I have not had one day off since we arrived and am usually on the go from morning to night. I must admit, I'd love to just sleep in one day and laze around a bit, but it just doesn't seem to be in the scheme of things.
I don't know if I told you before, I had dinner with the Canadian producer of “Mill of the Gods” which won the Emmy for best TV documentary a few years back...Eric something-or-other. He has had a very strange life but over-all is a complete bore, completely absorbed in himself. He is doing a film on Cyprus for BBC.
I have had several dinners and lunches with various delegates of the International Red Cross. The other night, the Officers Mess had all the delegates over for “Happy Hour” and afterwards I got invited out to dinner with 3 delegates and two Greek girls, one of whom turned out to be Kathy Clerides, the daughter of Mr Clerides, president of the government (Greek). She was very interesting and we all had a pleasant evening. I even ate octopus – not bad but a bit chewy. After dinner we went to a greek tavern and watched all the men dancing, and the spectators (diners) throwing plates on the floor – a strange tradition. I got back way after curfew and had to sneak into the Ledra.
Today all the staff officers went to Dhekelia (about an hours drive) to fire our weapons at the British range. It was fun, but I did terribly. On the way back we stopped for a beer at an inn right on the ocean. I had brought my bathing suit but no one else did, so we didn't go swimming. I had a nap when we got home.
We played baseball tonight. You'd think we were coached by Charlie Brown, as we lost 33-1. Not a good game. We haven't won a game yet but have had two close ones 7-4 and 19-17. I may start playing badminton in a small league. L/Col Manual (a real character) is looking for a partner and I have volunteered.
Col Lessard said we will all be back for Christmas and will most likely have all of January off. The Regiment has been cut down on our proposed training schedule this year and it looks as though it won't be nearly as busy as past years. I sure hope so, because at this pace I'll be ready to retire in another year.
I bought a new shirt last week – it's very casual, white if you can believe. I really like it. I think once the raise comes through I'll have a suit made and possibly a sports jacket. They are so cheap and excellent quality that I'd be crazy not to. Ken Smith is having a leather coat made. He is doing alright but misses his family very much (as I miss you). Maybe you could give Eileen a call one day just to say hi or see if she needs a ride anywhere. It's up to you.
Oh, about the car – it should get a 20W oil change before the weather gets too cold. Have the battery checked (for fluid anyway). There is a bottle of windshield washer anti freeze downstairs if either of the tanks is low. If you want the in-car heater hooked up, the wire runs through a hole in the fire-wall – any garage should be able to do all that.
Also, you will need to buy a new shovel as the old one broke. Get a good one, same size as last year. Maybe Mike would drop by someday and take out the airconditioner for you and put in the boards on the front windows. The whole thought of winter is a dismal one right now. Our days are warm but no longer uncomfortable and at night it gets a bit chilly...you need a warm shirt to sit outside. The rains should start next month.
I spent a whole evening last week talking French with Col Lessard and a couple of 1 Commando guys. It's amazing how their attitude changes toward you when they see you are trying. My French is still pretty good and I get lots of chances to use it, what with 1 CDO and the Red Cross. Also speak some German with the Austrians but it's pretty sloppy. English is still the universal language on the island.
It's getting late and my eyelids are drooping. Please cheer up, sweetheart, and write often. This separation is about half over now and I'm sure we will both make it until December. I miss you all very much – I think of you most of the time.
All my love,
(pat Manda for me).