|Return to Letters||≤ Previous Next ≥|
14A Randolph Gardens
Maida Vale NW6
Thanks a million for your letter & hankies Mill dear, it has arrived - hope the teeth are in working order now. All my love - Doe
Just a wee note in a hurry as usual telling of my very first REAL English Xmas - you know the snowy kind we always imagined they had here - but actually happen about once in ten years sort of thing - anyway the Gods were more than kind to me - for my last Xmas in England - to switch on one like this - it is most awfully exciting & lovely beyond description to see the snow falling softly & silently down & settling on everything - London was a complete study in black & white - all the dirty old black buildings looked really beautiful with white roofs & etc. - the trees - all their dead limbs, outlined with soft snow really it was lovely - we dashed over into the churchyard opposite & made a few snowballs just to feel what it was like - but tis nicer to watch snow in London from behind a window near a fire - you see it is so wet & cold here, not hard solid white snow like Switzerland. One never feels like staying out of doors long - still, we had about 6 inches & it stayed put for a couple of days - up until today in fact but oh the mess & slush when it is thawing is ghastly - it just looks like the Dorrigo mountain road in the wet season - inches of boggy looking, muddy slush - I wish you could see how we look, wrapped to the very eyes - gosh it is incredibly cold - with rubber boots that slip on over our shoes & come well up over the ankle - you can imagine what I look like - but I have no choice - one simply has to wear them when it is snowing AND when it is thawing - but I'm so grateful having a snowy English Xmas - I don't really mind the discomfort - but I must tell you darlings - I much prefer our own idea of a Xmas climate to the English - one gets very fed up with the cold, dark depressing atmosphere - I went for a walk in the snow with great enthusiasm the 2nd day, when it was well on the ground & still coming down - before long I began to get the jitters - all the endless whiteness - it was like trying to cross the Sahara - or walking to Bonville & seeing nothing but sand - heavens how anyone wants to go walking round exploring the South Pole is beyond me - I was so cold & numb - I just couldn't do a thing - not even think - I just stayed in bed every spare minute I could & then had about 4 hot baths a day to keep on keeping myself warm.
My Xmas? Oh yes I loved it dears - I finished up with my patient I took home to Putney on 22nd and the 23rd I went to the Clinic for one night - the Honourable David Greenwood had his aristocratic, but nevertheless decayed - wisdom tooth removed - the Hon, David & I spent a quiet night & on the morn of Dec. 24th I finished up - I tore into the bank & Australia House - to buy some dried fruit things to take to the Simpsons on Xmas night - dashed home - had some sleep - got up about 5pm & went into the R.A.F. Club - drank a little sherry - home about 7.30pm had a very quiet Xmas Eve by washing my hair & oh so thankful to get to bed at 9.30pm - wakened up on Xmas Day about 9.30am to find snow & dreariness everywhere - lots of lovely Aust. Letters, but none from the C.O. Walshes - very gloomy but loud cheers later - a lovely lovely darling cable - thank you very much my pets I loved it - you really are worth having as a family. Had a light luncheon, went over to U.C.H. for afternoon tea (they are awfully good to me there - so afraid I may be homesick, the dears) then I went on out to the Whitehall Hotel to the Simpsons for my Xmas Dinner at 7.30pm - I did tell you in my last letter I was having Xmas Dinner with them didn't I? You remember the Professor from Oxford? - the Doctor of Theology - well they came to town for a week & were nice enough to ask me to Xmas Dinner - they are wonderful to me really & later on Ces dear, I'd be very glad if you would write a snappy letter to him, thanking him for his niceness to your firstborn & etc. etc. - you know what I mean - they ordered Australian Burgundy wine - especially in my honour & I lapped up half the bottle myself - then after more supper about 10.30pm they took me all the way home per taxi - & on Boxing Day I went to them again for lunch & they took me - along with a nephew - to see "Where the Rainbow Ends" - so I really was very spoiled - well looked after - I'm very fortunate to find such nice folk & they made me promise if any more crises cropped up whilst I was here, I was to leave London & go at once to them, bag & baggage, to Oxford - you can imagine what a comfort it was to hear that sane invitation believe me - I'm also going to stay with them for day or so in the summer when they go to Rochester - you remember he is Canon of Rochester - in Kent - so I shall see a bit more of England.
Tonight I am back at U.C.H. on night duty - pretty strenuous case - a Major - ex Indian Army - very sick with some unfathomable wog - it doesn't look as if he'll get better, but I'm the 3rd nurse he has had so far - no one will stay he's so trying - but I'm going to do my best & not let Australian reputations down any - heres hoping I'll last a little of the distance at least.
The girls are still in Switzerland - I hope to get there myself in Feb. Meta sails for home on the `Orcades' on Saturday - we're all green, really - but today the sun shone for a wee while, the first for 10 days or so & life was much cheerier - but oh my pets, I could never stand another winter like this, so I'll be with you all ere this new year is out - do you mind?
Write & tell me all your Xmas doings - did Ces go home? AND what - Dad dear, a big hug & very very many happy thoughts for your birthday on Jan 12th 1939 -
Bless you all, my pets -