31st March 1961

March 31st 1961

Friday

Darling,

It’s a very hot day today.  Not a cloud in the deep blue sky.  This morning was spent as per the top social circle of Cyprus, namely washing and ironing.  It’s all the rage nowadays.  Must be the weather.

This past week has really flown by.  It’s been quite interesting at work so maybe that accounts for it.  During the week my new assistant came in with scratch marks and bruises all over his face.  He told me his wife had lost her temper with him so she had thrown a cup, which hit him full in the face.  Apparently they then had a little fight. which he won by about 9 rounds to 5.  He was pretty upset about the whole thing.  He kept on singing ‘Wish I was single again.’ to himself.  This is his first year of marriage and already he reckons he has had enough.  He is a very nice person in my opinion.  Always joking and laughing and always willing to help anybody that needs it.  Guess his trouble is he has rushed into marriage without courting his present wife long enough.  He says he only knew her about six months before marriage.  Guess he was too keen and paid, or is it paying the price now.

The very next day, I had a letter from yourself explaining your heart felt thoughts.  To tell the truth this letter shook me a bit.  I hadn’t even thought about things on those lines before.  Who knows what the answer is?  Only Father Time, I guess.  In those few days together I loved you more than I’ve ever loved anything or anyone before.  You are now suggesting that perhaps love was blind because of the circumstances and perhaps our emotions over parting ran away with us.  Well darling, I am a level-headed guy of 22 and knew exactly what I was doing and saying and my letters are still saying it.

However, if you want to forget everything that went before, as you put it, then do so by all means.  The way I look at things is, if we find we are not suited for one another, then it is pretty obvious that no marriage could ever take place.  I’m sure that I will never marry anybody unless I wanted to, it’s common sense, isn’t it?  I’m sure you wouldn’t either and therefore would not expect you to.

I am desperately looking forward to August to when I really mean to prove my love to you with actions instead of writing pages of kisses etc.  Only then can I prove I am the guy you deserve.

My mate has just walked in.  His back is a bright red from standing around in the sun without this shirt on.  Must remember to give him a slap on the back tonight.

We had a visit by the American Sixth Fleet a short time ago.  The aircraft carrier Forrestal was one of the many ships and when I tell you it has over four thousand men aboard, you will gather that this island was just about crawling with Yanks.  They were in nearly every bar in town and nearly drank them dry into the bargain.

According to my mate who lives down town there was quite a few fights, US v British.  The British were represented by the Paratroopers and Devon & Dorset Regiment, who seem to hold a grudge against Yankies.  This was supposed to be good-will visit according to the local newspapers.  The only thing they left behind were broken chairs and tables scattered throughout Limasol.

Personally I like the Americans.  They were pretty good to me at my last camp in the UK.  Don’t think I told you about my last camp, did I?  I was stationed at    USAF Mildenhall, near Newmarket.  There were just over 100 of RAF bods posted to this station for the purpose of running Headquarters No 3 Group.  We used to get invited down to their Airmen’s Club for free booze.  It was more than fair.  Twice a week they had cabaret from London to entertain the airmen.

The price of PallMall cigs was about 2/- for 20 and whisky was about 1/- a glass.  They were the days!  Home by 8 every Friday night to be back by 0800 hours Monday.  It sure was fast living.  Rather different from my present position.  Some nights I would pop down to Mildenhall village with all the lads for either a demob party or just a general get-together.  I had a Lambretta at this time. Somehow the return journey from the village was always exciting.

The lads at this camp were just great.  We always had a good time, sometimes at each other’s expense.  I remember one night this bloke Ken was on security patrol.  These patrols are done in shifts and we had arrived back in camp about midnight so we decided to visit him in his temporary billet by the Guardroom.  We crept in to find him snoring peacefully.  So, like good boys we let him sleep on.  However, we ‘borrowed’ his uniform leaving him only his webbing belt, big hat and shoes.  We took the rest back to our billet where we neatly laid out his uniform on his ‘permanent’ bed.  Apparently about two o’clock next morning a strange figure was seen heading for our billet clad in vest and pants, webbing belt, big hat and shoes. Poor bloke couldn’t have minded because I distinctly remember him laughing as he tipped me out of bed.

Another night after a guy had a few drinks he decided that he wanted something to eat.  This was unfortunate because at the time he was in bed and wearing his pyjamas.  This did not deter him in any way.  He walked outside the billet to his motor cycle and sped over to Smokey Joes the other side of the camp.  He told us later he walked in wearing his pyjamas, went straight up to the counter and bought a few rolls.  He said the Americans didn’t appear to notice him.  Maybe that was due to their own strange clothes.

Anyway, he came thundering back to the billet on the motor bike, went in one door and carried on straight down the middle between the beds and straight out the other side.  The strange thing is, this particular chap was a very quiet and reserved type – that is until this eventful night out.

Must close.  The guys outside are calling your buddy here to hurry up.  All my love to you Maureen.  I love you so much darling, that I pray we may always be together – and together again soon.

Love

Alan

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

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