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Date: June 7th 1942
Esther McKnight (cousin)

Hello Paparools,

It's been a long time since I've written you a letter, but I haven't forgotten how nice it was to hear from you when I first started going up to Muskoka. At least I used to know how all the Broadview "Y" ball teams were making out, thank's to you.

Now that I'm safe and sound in England where they're having the most peaceful kind of a war, I'd give anything to see a good exciting ball game. They do have football, (the English type) and I can't get very much interested in it. I was on leave for a few days and I managed to find an ice rink near London, and the only skates I could rent were figure skates. You can imagine how gracefully I managed to get around in those. And I spent a few days looking over the huge city of London. It hasn't any skyscrapers but the buildings are massive and immense. The more famed buildings - Canada House, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, etc. seem to stretch for blocks. And above all I managed to find a restaurant where I could get an honest to goodness dish of macaroni with meat and mushroom sauce.

There seems to be everything here but the trouble seems to finding a place to buy it. For tinned foods and clothes you seem to need coupons and we can't get them. For cigarettes and candy you can buy them but as soon as a shop puts up a sign that they have candy the line forms on the right and everyone within miles lines up to buy out the chocolates. The Beaver Club in London is one of the few places here you can buy Coca Cola, chewing gum and pancakes. It's a club for Canadians only. One of the boys brought back a carton of 6 cokes to the station and sold them for $5.00. Herb would make a fortune if he could get across some of that good G & W stock, especially Rye. He's still at work, I suppose, making enough to keep you and the little Pepper well fed.

I tried to contact Frank while on leave but he was just in the process of being moved to another station so that we couldn't get together. But we have exchanged several letters and from them I can safely say that we are both healthy and happy.

I hear that you get the occasional blackout in Toronto. It would seem odd if you got it night after night as we do here. And yet the cars and the busses and the people keep going around in the dark just as though' it were daylight.

I'm staying at a seaside resort and altho bathing is forbidden I do manage to get in some swimming in a large pool here. I'm getting to like it so well here that I'm going to be sorry to leave it for another station. But if they ever did mention going back to Canada, I'd swim all the way back. I haven't done any flying here but it won't be long before I'll have started.

How do like the fancy stationary I picked up in London (from the Strand Palace Hotel) and they didn't catch me either. I suppose you've heard that paper is scarce here but I haven't seen any scarcity. Toilet paper is very expensive and comes in very small rolls. But newspapers only cost 2 cents so that takes care of that.

I can't find anything more to rave about just now but I would appreciate hearing from you and Herb and the little Pepper.

Hoping to hear from you soon and trusting you are all in the best of health.

Your cousin,