February 14th 1961
My darling Alan,
And you really are a darling. The Valentine was wonderful. Honestly, I’ve never met anyone like you. All the other males I’ve ever known have never remembered any special dates, be they birthdays, monthly anniversaries or Valentine days. So, you may gather from that, that you have lost your bet. – or did you win it? I couldn’t make out which side you were on. As much as I may seem otherwise, I can assure you I am not so much of a men’s girl (feminine of lady’s man), girl-about-town as you obviously believe. In fact, I think I could give you a list of ex-boyfriends, plus dates but we’ll go into that later – much later. Anyway, thank you darling for the marvellous card, it cheered me up no end.
It arrived Monday morning and I was woken up by my oh so kind father by being hit on the head with it. The first words I heard Monday were, ‘here you are darling, here’s something from your Valentine.’ Sarcastic so-and-so. As soon as I put it down Jennifer pounced on it and all she kept saying was, ah-h-h isn’t that nice. She said she wished she was old enough to get Valentine cards. Mum must have taken pity on her cos she bought one and sent it to Jennifer. Now we keep teasing her about her secret admirer. The poor kid hasn’t guessed who sent it.
I seem to remember in a previous letter you asked how I felt. You shouldn’t have done that brother. At the moment Jennifer is getting over a cold, mum has a streaming cold. Dad has been to the doctor about the headache he’s had for the past week and now he’s got something wrong with his ankle, so he can hardly walk. And me, I’ve got a sore throat and a headache that I daren’t say anything about, cos I’ll be shoved into bed and have to miss the dance Friday and probably the wedding Saturday week. Oh and of course, I’m pregnant but who’s worried about that? So you see, this household is feeling very sorry for itself at the time of writing. I snapped at mum the other morning and she ended up in tears. I was sorry then of course, but I thought it a bit much when my kid sister started ticking me off about it.
Yesterday morning (Monday) I signed on at work at 9.50, which I thought was rather good even for me. The train before mine broke down and we were stuck between Upton Park and Plaistow for over half an hour. It was lucky really as I would have been late anyway I didn’t get to Heathway station ‘til 8.15.
I had another session of gin rummy with dad last night – and I got accused of cheating. I was trying to explain to him one of the rules that I thought he didn’t know. Apparently, I was telling him all back to front and he was doing what I told him and I was doing it right. I’ll have to try something like that again. – I won.
Oh yes. And thanks for those photos. You can’t move in this house without being confronted by a photo of Alan David Blake (that’s you). Or so I heard dad remark.
I’ve done something I didn’t want to do. I’ve burnt a page of your letter. I thought that was about the safest thing to do. I doubt whether anyone here would ever read them, but quote ‘better safe than sorry’. You can guess what page, I suppose? Now, I’ve got to answer a certain question, haven’t I? At least I gave you a way out.
Now, well yes, I suppose there is no avoiding it any longer, is there? I wish I had waited until August now. It’s much easier talking than writing because expressions count a lot and….well, you know what I mean.
Right, now I’ll get down to the point and celebrate by starting a new paragraph.
I’ll be perfectly honest with you. For the rest of that Monday evening I didn’t think much about it at all. I think maybe I was in a daze over all that had happened. Then when I really got to thinking about it all, it seemed a bit fishy and I started to believe that maybe I had been taken for a ride after all and that you were just protecting your own interests. Hence the first letter when I said I wanted to be sure of you before I started writing but after getting your wonderful letters exactly as you promised I decided on exactly the same answer that you have given me. It’s funny really, cos although I know it’s always regarded as ‘wrong’ I haven’t regretted it for one moment, not even when I was in doubt about your ‘intentions.’
There my darling. Have I explained myself clearly? All that is missing now is that very short walk up the aisle and a certain gold band. When you think of all the time we’ve got to spend together, it makes six months nothing, does it?
It’s been just like summer here today. The temperature was 65 degrees in London and the sun has been shining all day. I hope it is like that in September then we can go out for the whole day if we want to. That doesn’t sound right – at the weekends I mean.
I was informed yesterday that you can have certain types of skis on the wrong feet, so that joke (see end of last letter) probably lost most of its point by the time it reached you.
I’ve been called all the stingy so-and-so’s under the sun by mum because I didn’t send you a Valentine card. You didn’t mind, did you? I began getting a guilty conscience until I read the bit about ‘being hard and getting trodden on’ in your last letter. (I don’t think you’re hard, you’re nice and soft and cuddly.) It’s uncanny, y’know, the way our letters with more or less the same remarks in are crossing.
Well, there’s nothing else to tell you, so I’ll finish.
Lots and lots of love