January 18th 1961
My dearest Maureen,
Hello! Thanks a lot for that marvellous letter of yours. It beats me how you manage to express yourself so well, but you do and I love every word of it.
I’m not so hot at writing so I have decided that if I write what happens each day then it’s pretty sure you will get more than a miserable 2 pages, so here goes.
Monday…today has been rather a tedious day. One incident worthy of comment was my being called before a Special Investigation Branch Sergeant to account for my movements on Friday night. My explanation seemed to satisfy him which was just as well really. They are trying to find out who took one of our Squadron Landrovers and crashed it into a brand new Citroen. Why they should pick on me isn’t quite clear. Maybe it is the evil glint in my eyes. I assured them I have not stolen any Landrovers yet but hope to be able to drive soon.
Since I have been back I have managed to organise the distribution of my duties to my great satisfaction. No longer will Blake open the Squadron Compound before 7 am or close it last thing at night. No longer will Blake clean the billet at 7 am on any morning. Instead I have impressed upon the Adjutant the importance of my clerical knowledge in any emergency during after duty hours. Also secured the use of a bicycle as transport that goes with my new position. As a matter of interest between you and me I have never been called upon to act during any such situation, as the Station Duty Clerk always handles any such emergency in conjunction with the Duty Officer. The said ‘emergency’ happens about twice a year. So, taking things by and large, all things being equal etc I’m on a stack (I’m all right, mate).
Tuesday…it was another bore today. My work is completely up to standard and finished hours before cease work. So I had time to sit back and think about everything which was not wise in my present state of depression. However, I decided to oil my bike. I had not gone a few yards when an officer told me to wear my hat or otherwise I’d find myself in El Aden. I declared that I didn’t care a damn where the hell I went, which staggered him somewhat and even more myself as it is completely against my character to make such an outburst, especially if it could land me behind bars in the guardroom. Anyway, he called me to his office and apologised and so did I and after a friendly chat during which I had a cigarette, I left. Under the circumstances I will excuse myself for smoking but not my outburst. I found the cigarette very soothing and am almost compelled to start again.
The most important thing that happened this Tuesday was my receiving a letter from the girl of my dreams, Maureen Brown.
Wednesday….things haven’t been so bad this morning. I have applied to go skiing on Thursday 26th until Sunday 29th. It all depends on whether I can wrangle a couple of days leave or not. If so I shall be able to do one of the things that I have always dreamt about. I’ve always imagined myself up in the Swiss Alps with goggles, skis etc, racing down the cold hard snow to valleys below.
Anyway, before my imagination runs away with me (no comments please) I shall tell you about Mount Troodos where we have the skiing. It is quite a beautiful mountain to look at, most of it covered with tall pine trees and during the winter the snow is visible near its peak. It is good to see the red glow of sunset over the peak, just beautiful.
The actual ski slopes are about 5 – 6 thousand feet up but I am told it takes about 2 hours to make it by car, mountain roads and all that.
I really must apologise for my stupidity over the postcards. At the time of writing time was rather short and being rushed, I put down the first thing I could think of. Sorry. Had I more sense I would have put down just a couple of words ie,Hello! (Get the picture.)
If you don’t intend to go to evening classes next year (my approval) then I reckon you should go all out and pass with flying colours this term.
I never used to like evening classes much either I used to go directly after work (without tea) to the City of London College in Moorgate but after a few months found that I was paying more attention to my empty stomach than the lessons. Not only that, it always seemed to be cold and wet on these nights so you can imagine me cold and wet and hungry before I had even started lessons. They were the days!!
I am enclosing 3 photos which I had taken this past week. If you let me know which one you like best then I’ll get you an enlarged version of it. These were taken outside our barracks block so you have a rough picture of my everyday scenery.
Well darling, I can honestly say that this is the longest letter I have ever written. I just don’t know how I did it. I only hope it doesn’t bore you. I reckon that if you start reading it at Dagenham you should just about finish it by East Ham. That’s if you are reading it on the train of course.
Before I sign off I would like to ask you to return that photo of myself in uniform please.
I don’t really know how to end this letter except to tell you that I am always thinking of you and love you so much. I am not very romantic letter-wise but just you wait until August when I’ll show you how much I care.
Ps black cats are good luck all the time – it’s in the book!
Pps I’ll be sending you more photos next week.