Jan 1 /44.
This is a bit late for your birthday but I am never quite sure of the date. Is it the ninth? Many happy returns anyway.
I am getting accustomed to this place and it should be O.K. There is an awfully nice bunch of chaps here—very friendly and generous. It is quite a struggle to buy someone a drink because they are probably trying to get one for you. I have had lots of extra to eat too with everyone getting parcels from home. My cake was wonderful—fresh as the day it was baked. Anything in the food line is always welcome. If we don’t eat it in our huts at night it certainly comes in handy on the boat. One thing I shall probably find irksome is compulsory P.T. three times a week. It is made compulsory by docking your leave if you miss any.
I still haven’t been off the station. Spent Christmas Eve and New Years at the mess drinking mostly but having the odd dance with the only Canadian girl here—a WAAF nurse. I had to get up horribly early this morning to raise the flag. The orderly officer had to go on a trip so I took his place. Fortunately I could go right back to bed. I should be doing my first ops trip within the next few days.
I hope Lorna Houblon is going to be alright. Had a letter from Anna today saying she had recovered consciousness. What happened to the naval officer. I suppose he was drunk and was thus unhurt.
Had a letter from Peter today. He has been transferred to the former DCORs. He says for me to keep out of London. Well I am forced to do that.
There is so much to learn on these kites I don’t know how I will ever become a captain. He is supposed to know every man’s job.
[Editor’s note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]