July 10th 1961
I’m afraid I am feeling terribly lonely and unwanted and really frustrated. This staying in nonsense is driving me round the bend. Goodness knows what sort of state I’d have been in if I’d have stayed in for the whole seven months.
I’ve decided, you’ll probably get an awful shock when you come home. I reckon I’ve changed a lot since January. Something to do with the eighteenth birthday giving more confidence. Y’know, I’m beginning to feel really ancient with these new girls coming into the office. So long as I don’t start looking like a piece of the furniture as well as acting like one. I think I’ve got a bit big-headed as well. Two proposals in one year is enough to turn anyone’s head. Yet I’m staying in. Isn’t life funny?
Y’know, I’m beginning to be a bit scared. Seven months is an awful long time. I’m absolutely sure I am not going to know what to say to you. Still, who wants words? Forty-five more days now. At work they think it is killingly funny. They keep asking me when you’re coming home just to see if I’m still keeping track of the days. Very approximately 1060 hours. See how bored I am getting, nothing better to do with my time. I can always tell when I am getting frustrated my nails get shorter and shorter.
I’m going to the Palais with Carol Wednesday of next week. It seems Michael was right, it is my hunting ground. I very rarely go there with a boyfriend, just to look. I prefer to go to quiet, select places with an escort. Big noisy places are more fun when you are free and easy (well, nearly free and easy) – come to think of it, that doesn’t sound very nice.
I’m writing mad things again. Don’t know if it’s obvious but I have been drinking on an empty stomach again. It’s pretty obvious to my head I can tell you. I’ll start from the beginning.
The baby-sitting plan went kaput – for this evening. I am going next week it seems. So I decided to make my long delayed visit to Jean. I got round there to find she already had company. A girl called Beryl who we both went to junior school with. So we settled down to have a really good hen party. This Beryl is an absolute scream. She can’t open her mouth without having us in fits.
She reminded me of the party I had in ’59. I got tight at that party mainly through her. She is tea-total and kept asking for orange squash. ‘Course, people kept replacing the water with gin. Trouble was, she could smell it and was passing her drinks to me. And after Maureen has had a few ports she thinks she can tackle anything. I was just downing them.
Jean’s mother was dishing out coffee this evening and I hate the stuff. I told her not to make tea specially for me so they turned to the ole bottle. For every cup of coffee they had I was downing gin and bitter lemon. And they were sure drinking some coffee. I always seem to start boozing when I go round there. I’m sure they get an extra supply in when I come.
I got a good telling-off round there tonight. I haven’t seen Jean for ages and I had to catch her up with my love life. Nobody ever thinks of me. Just how you two must feel. I think her going on at me made me feel ever so rotten and deserted.
I wish I could keep my big mouth shut sometimes. It’s always the same when something is in the offing, I must talk. I’m talking about this party I want. I just can’t help telling everyone about it, who I would invite if I had one. Just today I promised invitations to, Carol and Clive, Pat and Robin, my cousin Janet and boyfriend John, Jean and Stan, Beryl and Ray. That’s ten and I’ve hardly mentioned it at home. That’s the trouble, there’s so many people I feel I’ve got to invite to stop ill-feeling and it ensures a negative answer when I mention it to the family. I haven’t seen Marjorie and Bill yet, then there’s you and me and Lena and any stray people that I mention it to and I feel I’ve got to invite.
As you can imagine the main topic of conversation this evening was Marjorie’s baby. Quite a few words were said, I can assure you.
Got to pack up now I suppose. Think I’ll have to go and find a stray man in the streets, anything to relieve this boredom. This evening Mum and dad started washing kitchen ceiling ready for painting. That was what really decided me to go out. You ought to have heard the ructions. Learnt a few new words there, I can tell you.
I’ve been back in my old office today. It was rotten. I rather fancy myself as a receptionist somewhere. Do they get much money? If my job didn’t pay so well for the amount of work we do, I’d be out of there like a shot. It drives me mad.
My principal asked me how I liked it in the other office. I told her it was better than here. She didn’t seem too pleased. Still, I don’t care. She retires August 2nd.
I decided to go to bed two pages ago didn’t I? About time I did something about moving.
Dad is trying to practice calling you Alan instead of SAC. He said you would wonder what’s going on if he calls you SAC when you walk in.
Love and kisses for now. I really am missing you y’know. Can’t you desert?
It’s still the 10th but I’ve just remembered something else to tell you. Jean’s sister-in-law has been chosen to be a model at the Radio Show. She works at a place that makes them. (radios, not models) and it is something to do with that. They are getting all expenses paid and tailor-made dresses they can keep afterwards.
My dear friend Carol needs a gag and a darn big one at that. I’ve mentioned before how she delights in talking about unsavoury subjects on the train at the top of her voice? Tonight she was on about something she’d read in a magazine. How this woman and her husband were both inexperienced on their honeymoon. And how she learnt it all from a book and her husband learnt it from her. I’m not sure of the details. I was trying to look as if wasn’t with her.
I’ve found myself a job for the 29th July. My aunt is going on holiday so my nan is going to some place or other til she comes back. Another aunt is going with my nan in the car they’ve hired but for some reason or other has decided she wants company on the return journey. So once again muggins is the only one available.
I’ve got to be in Barking by 9 o’clock – on a Saturday! I wouldn’t mind, the earliest I get up when I don’t have to go to work is 11-ish. That’s a thought. I wonder if I will have to work. That never occurred to me. Ha. That’s gonna disrupt their plans somewhat.
Our principal is getting quite human. Every time I catch her eye she gives me a beaming smile. I was quite honoured til I started comparing notes with the others and found out she’s beaming all around the place. Something to do with only having three weeks to serve I suppose. But she really did surprise me this afternoon. I lit a cigarette and left it resting on the side of an ashtray while I went off somewhere. When I came back I found her standing over a pile of forms (clean ones) with a great burn mark in them.
After I sheepishly owned up to her demand ‘who’s cigarette is this?’ she said, ‘oh dear’ picked it up, put it back in the ash-tray and walked away. She even gave me the half-day I wanted on August 4th, after all that. Life is full of surprises.
I’ve only got one sheet of paper left after this one. Must fill it up, even though mother’s on the move. I reckon they’ll be glad when you come home and I don’t have a decent excuse for hanging around here all hours of the morning.
Jennifer will be glad as well, I expect. She hasn’t mentioned anything yet but sooner or later she’s gonna start wondering why her pen is full of ink when she goes to bed and empty in the mornings. I’ll have to tell her that ink evaporates quickly. Think she will believe me? No, nor do I.
Mum has just made a trip downstairs and given me a lecture on health. She combined the evils of smoking with the added evils of not eating enough and not getting enough sleep. No peace for the wicked. I’ve been given 15 minutes to finish this and get to bed. As usual she said, ’I’ll wake your father up’ so I told her it was about time she stopped threatening me with my father.
Love and kisses