April 13th 1961
Boy, am I glad to be writing to you. That sounds a bit funny, I’ll explain. I developed a guilty conscience about the letters I had to answer and I’ve really been getting down to it tonight. My arm’s absolutely dropping off. Most of the time I’ve just been sitting here trying to think of something to write. Then when I do think of something I have to translate it from my own special type of grammar to the sort of English they’d understand. (I’ve been writing to my German, Nigerian and Swedish penfriends.) It’s a bit dodgy writing to someone else after writing to you cos the sort of things I tell you are just not fit for foreign ears.
You’re gonna have an awful job trying to read this, I know, but the time is precisely 12.35 and it seems I’m gonna be up until 2.30 or so as it is. It doesn’t really matter tonight though. I’ve got a well earned day off from work tomorrow. Blast it! the jolly old mater has just woken up and is amusing herself by yelling downstairs at me. Wonder if I can hang it out long enough for her to go back to sleep again? Let’s try it.
I’ve got a shocking cold. It came out in full force Wednesday but, like the martyr I am I went to work. Everyone was quite concerned especially the boss. She came up to me about 11 o’clock and asked if I felt alright and did I think I should be here (there). She told me to go up to the sick room and ask sister for something for it. I’d been avoiding that all morning cos I knew darn well she’d get rid of some of her ‘orrible brown stuff on me. Nevertheless, undaunting, notwithstanding etc. etc. I went up there and had a dose Ugh! The usual practice is to pour it down the sink when she isn’t looking. But she must be getting wise to that game cos she watched me the whole time. She even told me to go back at 2.45 for another dose.
I did get something out of the cold though. That afternoon the boss asked me if I would like a cuppa tea – for a minute I thought she was going to offer to get it for me, but she didn’t. So I was sitting in the club for about half an hour drinking tea all by myself. Worth having a cold if only to get out of work for a while.
Talking about work (I was) I have been informed if the Income Tax rate is changed on Monday I am doing overtime til 9 pm, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday of next week. I reckon the Income tax will be changed because the Chancellor goes to the meetings at the Bank and they don’t usually get so well organised when there is only a faint chance of overtime. Still, I could darn well do with the money.
I’ve been in a good mood all evening and I have been making Jennifer madder and madder at me. She kept saying she is hot and wandered downstairs every few minutes. So I went up and put a pair of shoes in her bed, then got clear by having a bath. It was funny, she lost her temper and the next time I went into the bedroom she slung the shoes at me. She missed, which made her wilder.
I went to see ‘Carry on Regardless’ last night. It was a bit near the mark but dead comical. They had been telling me all about it at work yesterday, so I knew what was coming. I was laughing miles before anything funny happened and everyone thought I was a bit gone.
Just about everyone you can think of (within reason) was in that film, from Jerry Desmond to Freddie Mills and Hattie Jacques to Fenella Fielding.
I wish you would say something about me going out with Michael. I don’t know whether you don’t want to know anything about it, or whether you want to know, so you know what I am doing – or what?
The whole thing is a bit dodgy as far as the family is concerned. Mum told me tonight that she doesn’t like the look of him. And every now and then they demand to know whether I’m still writing to you twice a week. Wish you would hurry up and come home. It’ll stop a whole lot of arguments.
Damn, she’s woken up again. I suppose I had better go to bed now or she’ll be moaning at me all day tomorrow for not going to bed and not getting up. You might be able to read the rest of this letter once I get circulation in my hand going again. I’ll be able to write properly – or readably, if you prefer.
I love you. Ich liebe dich. Je t’adore.
Right. It’s tomorrow now and I’ve been threatened with terrible things if I stay up too late tonight. Knowing I’ve got to hurry up has made my mind a complete blank. No comments, thank you so much.
I just had a brilliant idea, namely, answer the letter I got this morning. But after using up precious ten minutes tracking it down I ascertain there are no answerable questions. Except maybe, what to do on our honeymoon.
Now sir, I have some very good reading matter I could let you have at a price. very cheap, very informative and very interesting (salesman talk!)
As I think I said earlier (in this letter I mean but I can’t be bothered to read it back now.) I’ve had the day off today. I celebrated by getting up for lunch – which wasn’t worth it. Oh Yes! Now I know why mum likes you so much. I found out last weekend that you complimented her on her cooking. Talk about get well in! You certainly know the tricks of the trade. That was even better than a bribe.
What was I saying? Yes, I did intend to get up in time to see Gagarin on TV but didn’t manage to make it. There was a telerecording of it on this evening and considering the picture was live from Moscow it was marvellous. In case you are wondering what I am on about, it was the arrival in Moscow of the human sputnik. Boy, that chap sure is a looker!
What do you think about this Russian space effort then? Quite something. I was telling Jennifer how lucky we were. If we’d been born 50 or 100 years later we’d have to learn all the details in our history lessons at school. As it is, it is news not history. There is something to tell our grandchildren Alan.
Still, suppose by then it won’t be so wonderful. People will be whizzing around everywhere and they’ll be having an Easter death poll for space as well as the roads.
Let’s go back to the ‘I got up for lunch’ bit. Then in the afternoon my aunt brought Terry over once again. That wasn’t very interesting though. I couldn’t be bothered to start fooling around with the brat and so put up with his punches without flinching. Usually mum and my aunt have some very interesting scandal to discuss but it must have been one of their off days today. They only talked about things like, how much better a plastic clothes line is than a rope one. Did you know that? Very handy thing to know – if you’re interested that is.
I did a bunk into the front room and played records only they didn’t like that cos they said it was too loud and they couldn’t hear themselves talk. Terry was making twice as much noise as me.
I know what I can ask you. They were telling me this at work and I don’t know whether to believe them or not. I never know when they’re spinning me a yarn. They said that when you are left handed the left side of your brain is smaller than the right, and vice versa. I don’t believe it. I’m sure that with practice you can learn to write with either hand. D’you know anything about it?
There is a Bank show on in a fortnight and I’ve been dragged in on the crowd that’s going. It all started with Carol and Clive going. Then Carol persuaded her friend and boyfriend they would like to see it. And my friend Pat +boyfriend got in on it somehow. Wednesday Carol was working on Michael about going and Clive’s remark about the drinks being subsidised at the Bank just about decided the whole issue. I’m still trying to work out whether I did manage to get a word in or whether they just informed me I was going.
I am sitting here poised and waiting to go rushing upstairs at the first sound of a bed creaking. A guilty conscience is certainly no good for the nerves. So I had better finish.
Lots of love to you
From your Maureen