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1940 December 20th (Friday)
14A Randolph Gardens
Maida Vale NW6
Don't you think these 2 in one letters are fine? I hope you can gather up the threads of our 2 lives by these, that will be a great comfort to you Mammy & Pop bless you my pets -
Well kids my last letter to you was an airmail & I hope you receive it OK with a few snaps in it - I was at the London Clinic, nursing Lord Wyfold - but suddenly I developed an awfully sore foot & had to go off duty - have been off ten days with the beastly thing, but it is now much better & I am going to stay off duty until Dec. 26th so I can have Xmas with my dear brother.
My foot began as a suppurating corn & of course I didn't worry much about it - some dye from my stocking must have infected the beastly thing, 'cause it was frightfully painful & swollen & I couldn't get any shoes on - I was very disappointed, because my old Lord was so sweet - however he & Lady Wyfold have been nice - sent me some chocolates & ring up nearly every day & if he is still in hospital after Xmas he wants me back - I'll go -
Well darlings - once more it's nearly Xmas - what a strange strange one - but it's lovely to have my Ces, bless him - I had a letter from him saying he hoped to get Xmas leave & come down, but if he doesn't, I've made all arrangements to go up to Colchester & have Xmas Eve & Xmas Day with him - Reg will be there & all the other lads, so perhaps it will break the monotony for them - especially as they are not getting leave - I want to make things as cheerful as possible - I spend all my money on the kids - I wish Earle were here - the lamb, but they are worth it - I'll have to swim home when I want to go back - still, perhaps that will be safest - so why worry.
I don't know what to give Ces for Xmas - maybe I'll get him an Eversharp pencil to match his pen I gave him for his birthday - he hasn't a pencil - & he doesn't smoke or shave with a safety razor, so I'm limited - I don't know what he is giving me, but he's very excited about it & it's a secret yet.
To date I have received very little Xmas mail from Australia or you, pets but in this evening's paper it is announced that all mails, parcels etc. from Australia posted in the last week of October & first week in November have been lost by enemy action - so Mummy dear, I wonder if your cake is feeding the mermaids, instead of your daughter - I shall be very sad - Ces' too - but anyway, I've just received the lovely cheery snap of Earle that Ned posted ordinary mail & I love it - I am going to get a frame for it & my two brothers will hang over the mantle-piece - one each side of a long mirror - the pets -
Muriel is still at Windsor & I am at the flat alone - it's real Xmas weather - cold as ice & dark as pitch all day - it looks as if it will snow any second. I hope it does, just to let the boys have a real English Xmas - they are dying to see snow & want it for Xmas - of course - just like me - my first winter here.
The days aren't so bad, but I don't like the nights - we have been having a night or two of comparative quiet - but the warning went at 6pm tonight & I hear the guns booming out & bombs falling - but not too near - it's no use darlings - I am not a heroine really - I hate sitting here listening to it - wondering if it is coming my way "this time" - I don't go into the shelters now - it's so desperately cold & awful I can't stay awake all night - I wait until about 10.30pm - then I get into bed - with slacks & an old sweater on - my topcoat & shoes near me, handbag, torch etc. then I just hope for the best - I feel better in the basement - it's not so noisy - but one doesn't get much sleep when things are bad - I shall go out of town on country cases, when Ces goes, but until then I'll stay in London - 'cause I am on the spot if he suddenly gets final leave at short notice & little of it - Don't worry tho' pets - we're all in this whatever happens - & I wouldn't change but it's an awful strain - I'll be glad when we've finished the Nazis off - things are very complicated & very grim just now - the shipping losses are appalling & we will have a very hard time with the food problem for 3-4 months - still - imagine what it must be like in Germany - we have had no onions for ages & milk shortish but that's better now - but here we must not worry - but I don't suppose I'll ever get used to going in & not being able to get as much butter, milk & etc. as I want.
Dick's letter was grand, Ces sent it onto me - I laughed a lot - I hope Dad is over the 'flu, he seems to have had a lot of it this winter, please be careful pets - but you'll be OK now the sun is shining & summer is your way - need I tell you how I dread the next 3-4 months still I must not moan - it's my choice - I am taking multivite tablets & eat oranges, barley sugar & drink milk when I get it - so I'm having all the right things.
Ces looks wonderful - much too fat of course but he wants it here for the winter - he & John Mills are exactly the same type - back on I can't tell them apart much - both can't get uniforms to fit them.
Now darlings I'm going to do my marketing - my big walk - hobbling with a sore foot like an old lady in big shoes - but I find bed not bad these cold days - but must get me back to work soon as possible.
A big big hug to each & every one of you darlings & Pete Smith included. Write as often as you possibly can - we need your letters darlings - that's your war work -
My love to everyone & tell Patsy to write - Ned & Mum are the only ones who don't forget.
Bless you, darlings