My dearest Jill;
I have started this letter three times and just as yourself I don’t know were to start, and hardly know how to say what I wish to.
It is so long darling, since those beautifull dreams we lived, that I hardly know how to apologise for not writing. It is not because I don’t think of you, or have been too busy, for I have often sat and thought of our life together at home and wondered what you were doing, when I could have written pages. Somehow time seems to slip by and these things which really mean a lot to us are left undone and we find ourselves getting lax although we don’t will it. But dearest, always know that wherever I am and whatever happens to us there will always be a part of that is yours and only yours. I will make no thoughtless remarks about marriage – I have not the right and God know’s I am not in a position too, but I can say and do honestly, that I love you and ache too have you near me. With all our work and interests, there are times in every day when you are surrounded by men and yet utterly alone. Don’t think that I am whimpering – it is far from that, but there are moments when I see myself in the future and I am a bit afraid and I know that the men here who we can bank our money and life on are as nearly perfect as I shall ever make in my business life, yet you can’t go to them and talk freely and from my heart as I can too you. It is the callousness and wildness, which is developed in us, to some extent at least, which I am afraid of.
I was never a puritan nor a Florence Nightingale, but I like to think that I was and am capable of some restraint and of feeling sympathy and kindness towards people and animals. Yet I find myself getting harder and doing and saying things I regret and sometimes I don’t feel as ashamed as I should.
I have been told often that I am idealistic and that I’ll get it knocked out of me if I live long enough. Mrs. Pitt-Brooke once said that it would hurt but that it would do me a lot of good – she came much closer too the truth in the first remark. The more I realize I must look out for my own skin and let the others look after thiers and often stoop to do it, the less I like the feeling in my self. It is as if something within was slowly being forced back and I wish it were otherwise. However dear, it is the inevitable and I guess we must all grow up sometime.
These last few pages I wrote two days ago and copied again, after some thought. I was on the verge of burning them today, but it would not have been really true to you if I had, and although I am in a better frame of mind now, it is still true. I will tell you more of my life here later on – that is my recreation and social life.
Darling, the cake was a really sweet thought and although only received it about an hour ago, (right after classes), it is almost demolished, there being one big juicy slice left for me to eat at my leisure. I had a couple of great chunks myself as soon as I got it open and of course gave most of the boys a piece, as we always share parcels. It is really delicious and you couldn’t have sent anything nicer – I’m still an awfull gourmand you know. It is a treat to have something different to eat, for despite the fact that we are excellently fed we get a little tired of the food.
I hardly know what too ask for as a second present Jill, really this is more than I deserve. You really said something when you guessed we had little room to keeps things – you’d really know it if you saw us sorting out the unnecessaries, then jumping the rest down into our kit bags when we move. Really I can’t think of any thing I want unless it’s a bottle of scotch Macdonald’s Nightcap – remember? It is hard to keep anything good around the barracks, such as lighters, writing sets etc., even money belts are hard to keep, as there are always one or two thieves around among the other flights. Liquor and tobacco are the two standard presents we like to get and I have a couple of tins of tobac’ now. I’d really love to have an enlarged picture of you, so that I can sit and talk to you when nobody is around. I’m still cracked enough to do it. Really dearest I think if you’re going to get me something you’ll have to go by instinct because I really don’t know what I want.
Since I wrote the last, I have been up for two hours flying and have just got back from the hangar. I was for 50 minutes dual, taking instruction, then took my little Tigerschmitz up for an hour and five minutes solo, practiceing climbing and gliding turns and medium turns in level flight. My ship, (Tiger moth #4236), was pulling badly to the left and being curious I set the controls for level flight and turned her loose. She banked to the left and started to turn faster and faster as her nose and inside wing dropped and like a fool I didn’t pull her out quickly enough, then before I could wink I was in a power spin and by the time I pulled her out I had dropped from 4,000 ft. to about 1,500 hundred. Talk about sensations, this flying beats anything you ever saw.
I get up at 5:30 tomorrow morning and fly at 6:15 for at least an hour. We fly on this schedule all the time – one evening, then the following morning then the following evening again and so on 7 days a week.
I soloed last Monday after 7:35 hrs., dual instruction and found it about the most exhilerating feeling I have ever experienced. I’d love to have you here and be able to take you thousands of feet up in the heavens where the air is so fresh and sweet and one looks down on the sluggish world from a domain entirely apart from the drab plodding of the streets and business.
I must get to bed now darling as it is getting on for ten, but will be dreaming of you. I’ll try and get a few more minutes to-morrow before I mail this.
God bless you dearest,
I love you,