April 6, 1945
Uncle Reggie’s place is quite attractive with a pretty garden, swimming pool, tennis court, very good squash court, and the house, though not large, has three bathrooms.
Sunday evening Uncle R and I had a game of chess which lasted all evening. I was ahead all the way which is no doubt why the game took so long but I was finally beaten by the sudden onslaught of two queens.
The next morning we went back to Ditchford. I meant to leave on Wednesday, was persuaded to stay until Thursday and then the races came into the picture. On Friday a wing commander with his car arrived to stay a few days, so on Sat we took two cars to the races. Henry, Valery and I in one and G. D and Anne in the other. We went early to get programs and Henry who is quite an authority on races showed me everything a race goer should know (except how to win) and later Dorothy took me down to get a good spot just beside the last steeple (or is it a fence). Between races we would go up to the paddock, see the horses and make our bets.
But despite my well informed escorts and who was handicapping I lost on every race and so did Henry except for breaking even on the first. Still it was a wonderful day and I enjoyed it immensely. I wouldn’t be a steeple chase jockey for anything. There were four tumbles in the last races.
I was supposed to catch the train right after the races as I had half promised my navigator to visit his people at Ramsgate. This fell by the boards because I didn’t leave until Monday morning. Henry came as far as Reading as he was off to try and get his money back at Ascot.
Except perhaps for Aunt Nina who isn’t too strong everybody was in very good health. I don’t think they have to work quite so hard now which is a good thing though Uncle Geoff has a heavier than usual racing season ahead of him with no petrol allowance this year. He will be away several days each week. By the way, I never got a picture of Valery. Even an attempt would have been too dangerous and probably would have caused a rift somewhere.
With love from Tony.
[Editor’s note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]