27th March 1961

March 27th 1961

Monday

Darling,

Have managed to wangle a few hours off this afternoon so now I have a fine opportunity to write quietly and undisturbed by those well-known charlies commonly known as airmen.  What could be more common than that? – you dare!  Should have written this masterpiece yesterday really but what with one thing and another things didn’t work out that way.  Or maybe I am just lazy.  Haven’t much to report that is very exciting.  Come to think of it, nothing is very excitable about this place.  Think I’ll tell you all I can remember of interest this past week.

Friday we had a Grand National Draw at work and I got Merryman.  As you know by now it came in second and I might have won me 30/- if it hadn’t been for some nag kicking it half to death on the starting line.  As it was I won the second prize of ten bob, which is much better than nothing.

Work hasn’t been too bad lately thanks to the help given by my LAC friend.  He is a good lad, works hard and always willing to do a bit more.  We generally rush though our work then start having ‘secret’ spelling games and such like educational type questions.  Perhaps we are doing the right thing because it does stop us becoming twisted like a number of blokes I could mention.

It’s amazing sometimes to see people change so much.  To start with the new chaps are always quite reserved and good little airmen.  Then they realise what little Cyprus has to offer. That’s when people start doing all kinds of childish things to amuse themselves.  Short time ago the guys in the block behind ours had a crazy idea by putting one of their ‘friend’s’ bed, lockers, mat and fire extinguisher etc, all outside the block in the middle of the bondu.  It looked rather neat I must admit, although the poor ‘friend’ in question wasn’t so happy about it all.

The Court of Inquiry investigating the taking of one of the Squadron Landrovers which crashed into a private car, has finally been brought to a close.  The findings of the court and relevant statements were received today from HQNEAF.  They haven’t found out who was responsible yet and am happy to say don’t even suspect me.  This is just as well really because I didn’t do it.  The reason why I mentioned it is because I told you in my first few letters about the investigations.

My mate now living down town with his wife had my vast experience of letter writing yesterday.  That’s a laugh, asking a bloke who only decides to start a new paragraph half way down page four.

Anyway, I wrote an official letter for him which I must say was more than good for me.  He came in this morning to thank me because he has now been given permission to act as requested.  The letter was requesting that the wife and child of one of his old friends may be allowed to stay with him and his wife. His ‘old friend’ was unfortunately having a rough time of it in hospital and wanted his wife and child to come to Akrotiri from his last camp in El Aden.  She is now being flown over by RAF Comet for nothing.  Hope you understand all that, quite frankly I got lost past ‘was requesting.’

The corporal at work was on at me the other day about not divulging confidential matters relating to airmen of the Sqn to people after working hours.  Perhaps I should explain that we have a record of every airman plus the personal file, which is very personal.  I told him I never discuss work after duty, which is true.  Then I turned the tables on him and said that I’ve heard one or two confidential things in various bars in Limasol.  He jumped up and said (because he knows I was getting at him) he never discussed work either.  His exact words were ‘Even my wife doesn’t know what I do.’  To which I promptly replied.  ‘nor do we George, nor do we’.  He was beaten and laughed it off.  One up for Blake.

Was looking up a letter last Saturday when I came across a statement given by a certain airman relating to an M.T. Accident.  His statement read.  ‘I number….SAC…name etc….have the honour to submit an accident between 06 AH 12 and a water aquaduct…..’

The lads have just returned from work so from here on don’t expect my steady flow.  It’s been pretty good this afternoon. In just over an hour I have written 8 pages.  this is a new A D Blake record.  Will probably be going to tea in a minute.  Paddy is washing his hands.  First time this year.

Have been reading a very good book these past few days called Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck.  It’s all about some small town and Steinbeck seems to me to be expressing his personal opinions through his characters.  The actual story is about Doc, as he is known, and how everybody starts to ‘help’ him when he isn’t his normal carefree self.  They even marry him off to a lady named Sugg who works in the local whore house.  That’s as far as I’ve got.

I am now back from tea and am glad of it, it was rubbish – curried of course.  Now I think I will answer one or two of those questions you slipped into your last letter

‘Courting’ and all that came first.  I reckon that ‘courting’ refers to anyone going steady and reckon that Carol doesn’t know what she is talking about.  Perhaps putting it like that is going a bit far.  She is right up to a point I suppose.  This has got me going now.  Hang on, I’ll borrow a dictionary from somebody.   Ready?  Pocket Oxford dictionary states:  Courtship :- courting, especially of intended wife.

So there it is. Work it out from there.  She is right and so are you.  It’s rather a trivial argument because the people just prior to an engagement are going steady and people not intending an engagement are not going steady in the true sense of the word.  So, going steady is courting – I agree.

Now.  About your strong views on the growing up with the children, question.  This is quite a long and debatable question for young married couples.  Always has been and probably always will be.  My opinion is very much the same as yours, for your reasons.  Plus the fact that having children so soon after marriage hardly gives young couples enough time to settle down in their new surroundings.  People should realise that babies can be expensive things to have around the place.  Such people who don’t are always struggling to pay off one debt, after another.  I reckon to start a family about five years or so after marriage.  What’s your view?

Marjorie said a very true thing….’if there are no mistakes’.  There has been many a mistake in the heat of the moment after a few drinks.

Darling Maureen, I love you but you’re wrong about the old Boat Race mate.  Oxford will be home and dry by at least four lengths.  We shall see!  I bet on Oxford and am looking forward to that half-a-crown.  You had better not win this bet.  I’ve already forked out a bob to you this year.  Dear, dear, as fast as I win tanners at whist you try and win them for yourself.

I have just told my inquisitive friend that Oliver Cromwell came over with the Romans in 1066 AD.  He is now sitting with a very puzzled expression on his face.  Will give him another half hour and then tell him the truth.  Cromwell came over with the Saxons, of course.

Thanks for the other photo.  It wasn’t too bad really.  Don’t know what you’re worrying about, you look good any time, any place.

It’s becoming harder and harder to concentrate now.  Handcock’s Half Hour is going strong on F.B.S. while the lads are carrying on, and on, and on.  They have decided to play whist at last.  Without me, for a change.  Perhaps they will quieten down a bit now.  If the envelope is smeared with blood you will know that I decided to do something about it.  (Not my blood I hope.)

Well, darling, it‘s nearly the end of March now, Easter is here at last and I’ve about twenty weeks to do in the mob.  The weather’s been pretty good lately and taking things in general, life is pretty good at present.  Just wait until August, everything is going to be terrific, just terrific, you and me together again.

Must close now, darling.  My services are required at ye olde game of Whist.  Not only that, Top Twenty is due on F.B.S. any minute now and I don’t want to miss that.

Have a good Easter darling.  Take care of yourself, my love.  You are my very favourite person because I love you very much.  You are the girl that I can’t wait to meet again.  Without you my life would be very drab and bare.  Darling I miss you so. Words seem a poor substitute for my affection, love and adoration of THE Maureen Brown.

All my love

Alan

Letters from Alan Week 13: 27th March - 1st April 1961

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