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1940 November 7th
14A Randolph Gardens
Maida Vale NW6
Here's your Doe in action again after much silence, but I've been frantically busy with my Xmas mail, moving & etc. A thousand pardons darlings - & at least to date - November 7th we are still safe.
First I must tell you I finished up the case at Ascot & came back to town with very mixed feelings - because as you know - I've been out of my beloved London for 7 weeks of the awful blitz.
Well my first glimpse was one thrill - to see all the damage & devastation & yet no one takes any notice - life is going on everywhere in just as normal fashion as the chaos will permit - no one takes the slightest notice of the confusing part of life - like bus routes in all directions & it cost me much more for a taxi from Waterloo Station to the flat than my train fare from Ascot to Waterloo - but as I say - one doesn't think of trifles as these. I landed at the flat to find Muriel home, so we went into a huddle about things & decided we'd give up the top flat at 14A & move into the basement one - we have plenty of choice, at least - for we - with the housekeeper are the sole tenants in the whole building - everyone else has left town. Well - we decided it was miles less noisy & frightening in the basement - the top flat of ours used to rock like an ocean liner when the AA guns boomed out. WE feel much happier downstairs, but of course, miss our lovely view - but we'll certainly be much cosier downstairs for we've a lovely blazing coal fire & oh it's so warm & cosy we will be set for this coming season - we've big wooden shutters over our blackout glass so we're safe from splinters - but we've yet to see whether it's safer to fall from the top flat with all the bricks & debris, or whether it is better to be buried in the basement when a bomb comes our way - we'll see.
Now pets don't worry about Doe - she is 100%, weighs 10st 3lbs & is on radio-malt ready for the winter - we've decided to make London our headquarters, Mue & I, for the present but we've asked to have all our nursing out of town - that gives us a chance to get away from the noise & strain & yet get up to town when we finish a case for a few days. We've packed all our stuff in trunks & suitcases & have stored it under the basement stairs & our best things we take out with us - by doing this, we feel if the flat is bombed during our absence, we may be able to salvage some of our gear, at least. When we are in - we live in slacks & sweaters & still keep everything packed ready to get out at a moment's notice - so you see life has become more or less complicated. We live like snails - our houses on our backs, so to speak - still, it's the only way to face up to things sensibly. The week we had at the flat packing up, moving etc. was comparatively quiet, but with the new moon, things are getting hectic again.
One night the all clear went at 9pm - everyone was utterly amazed - the Canadians were up, so we went into town for dinner & danced - the first time in months - & last Sunday night they never had one warning all night - the first quiet night for 59 nights - how the Londoners must have enjoyed it all.
Last Saturday Muriel & I came up to a Nursing Home in Windsor to special an operation case - Mue is on days with it and I am on night duty - it's lovely to be together for a bit - Windsor is a lovely lovely spot & I am enjoying it muchly, but we'll just about get in a fortnight's work. That gives us a nice spell from noise - work is very plentiful amongst civilians, so that's all one can do in this war it seems.
Last week darlings - I posted off Aunt Eily's topcoat I was to take home last year. I've not written her yet, so Ned will you please ring her up & tell her - I was afraid to keep it, cause it might have been bombed any time & it is such a lovely one it was silly not to send it off - tell her I hope she doesn't have too much duty to pay. I put the price down at £4.4.0 - as low as I dared & I put in a card wishing her a merry Xmas - now I'll be anxious to hear. I hope you can sort out all the jumble pets. I'm writing this at 1am - on duty, in front of the fire - but do let Aunt know about her coat, please - I'll write her later.
Mum & Ned dears - we had a lovely air-mail from you last Friday & I sent it on to Ces - thanks a million & oh how thrilled we'll be to get our Xmas cakes - yum yum - I hope Ces gets leave - if not I'll try & get up - I'm going to try & go to him when I finish this case, if it happens at the weekend - it's the best time for his leave.
Well how are my two soldiers at home - I do hope my nice Dad is well from his 'flu - please look after yourself Ces - I'm glad your winter is over - you'll enjoy life in the camp in summer better - next time I hear, I hope you'll be Sergeant Walsh - good man pet - I must wish you many many happy returns for your birthday on January 12th - you'll just about receive this - so all my love & a big hug pet.
How is my Earle - I didn't send him a Xmas card, cause I hadn't his number or address - but I love hearing all about him & his pipe - we only wish he was with us here in England - it's simply super - all my love pet. I spose Wal & Dick are not yet called up - their turn will come - it looks as if this war is never going to end - it gets more & more involved - poor Greece now - what next? I hope we mop Italy up at once.
We're delighted about Roosevelt's 3rd term of office - just what we wanted. I hope things go our way from now on - what a mess the world is in, isn't it?
Now pets I must finish up - I hope you all had a lovely warm cheery Xmas & New Year - all the best to you & big big hugs - if only I could rush home for a couple of weeks & see you all. Happy birthday to Dad & Wal & all the best to everyone else -
Tons of love
I'm enclosing a letter of Reg's - you maybe interested - poor kid is very lonely & depressed.