February 1st 1961
This is the ‘old bonfire’ reporting from Cyprus, feeling rather warm and passionate tonight so I thought if I can’t be with her then I’ll make do by writing. If that makes sense to you then kindly let me know – I’m lost.
Had any good talks about dressing gowns lately Miss Pink? Sincerely though Maureen it was really good to receive your letter this morning as I wasn’t feeling in the best of moods. I assure you, I do read your letters (re your letter) many times so here is the gen about August etc. It’s possible that I’ll be in UK around 16th for my demob on the 26th. I am not sure when or where I’ll land but I do know that the demob centre is in Innsworth just outside Gloucester. The 26th is a Saturday so perhaps you might find time to pop down and meet me. My mate Harry said that he might be able to pick me up in his car which would be waiting outside the ‘prison’ but no definite arrangements were made. Although with me asking he might do just that.
When I get back perhaps we can add your friend Marjorie to the list of people to see. She sounds an interesting character and as she is a great friend of yours she’ll be coming to the wedding.
That play ‘Honeymoon Postponed’ must have been some play. I did notice a few comments in the newspapers. It reminds me when that type of play used to be on at home, with my brother taking quick glances at me watching my expression. His general comment was ‘nothing new to you, is it?’ How did he know I was Mr X from the News of the World? I believe my mate Ronny must have been shooting the line a bit in the past.
As my last letter says, I reckon we ought to get married as soon as possible and I mean that. We’ll be engaged at Christmas and married by sometime in September or a little later. It depends how things go. Some married woman was giving me all the gen about the pre-married period. She says it’s quite a nerve-wracking business but once you’ve been up to the altar everything is just plain sailing. You are the only girl for me and you know it. I never thought that I would feel this way about anybody darling. I guess I always regarded girls as stupid creatures who were fun to be with, but with you I’ve just fallen in love. Sounds soft perhaps but why put it any other way when it’s what I mean.
Was told yesterday that I was voted by the lads to carry out representative duties for 1961 on their behalf. Apparently there was a minor election poll while I was on leave so it looks like another term of office, so to speak. They reckon I’ve always plenty of ideas to put forward and am not afraid to convey them to the person(s) concerned. It’s good to know they place so much confidence in SAC Blake. The way I look at it is, that there is no point in grumbling under one’s breath if you’re not man enough to say exactly what’s on the mind. In my position I am allowed to. There have been occasions when I have become quite heated over a subject before bringing my point home. It’s enjoyable to argue with the almightys as it breaks away from routine. There is to be a Messing committee meeting later this month and I’m quite looking forward to mincing! words with the Catering Officer.
My mate has agreed to do PSI meetings and I have told him all the points which I regard as important ie. Improving NAAFI bar and splitting up the actual hall into alcoves with sofas around the walls particularly in the corners. The alcove idea will be good because at present it’s just a bare hall with tables and chairs dumped in it. To split it up will enable small parties of guys to have a drink with more private and sociable amenities provided. They (PSI) have accumulated over £6000 so they can well afford to spend money in the right direction.
You asked for my daily routine some time ago so here it is:-
- Rise at 6.00.
- Wash and dress 06.15.
- Make bedpack 06.25
- Breakfast 06.25 to 06.45
- Then to work via billet by 07.00
I always work hard until 08.00 clearing away anything of importance before relaxing at coffee break. I rarely talk in this hour. After this we have what is known as a mail run. A Landrover goes to Station HQ to pick up the day’s official mail after which SAC Blake actions such. It usually takes an hour or so to polish that little lot off. After this I deal with secret work until 10.00.
For the next hour it differs day to day, sometimes I type letters or drink coffee and talk and talk. All depends on myself I suppose. Anyway, just after 11.00 another mail run goes off to collect official and private mail. The latter being the most important thing of the day. I can action anything that requires instant attention and generally pack up shop at 12.30, leaving 30 minutes to read newspapers and have a little chat. When I receive your letters the official mail just lays in the tray while I read the many pages – wonderful pages. At 13.00 I lock the cabinets and office and head down for the mess. It would be obvious why it is called this if you were to see the food but we eat it just the same.
I am generally back at the block by 13.30 where I have a shower and change into civvies. The afternoons vary from day to day. On Mondays and Thursdays we work til 16.30 but on other days we either play cards, write letters, washing or ironing, play football, swimming and cricket in the summer. It just depends on circumstances. Teatime is about 5 pm and every day it’s the same old menu, eggs & chips & peas, although some days we have a change and it is eggs & chips & beans. Oh we are so pleased. Evenings are spent in different ways from: – pictures, NAAFI, snooker, cards, Lady Lampoons cafe, letter writing, reading or going downtown to Limosol. Again, it all depends.
That‘s a fair rough guide to life in Sunny Cyprus. Aren’t you bored yet? Blimey, what staying power. Excuse me a minute my toast is burning.
In your previous letter – 24th – you said a lot of very nice things and I want you to know that I too had the same mixed feeling that last Monday night and that last page of yours was near to bringing me to tears and laughter at the same time as anything I’ve ever read before. Xxx
Sorry, can’t manage 13 pages Maureen. As it is rather late now all my love to you, take care of yourself.