21st July 1961

July 21st 1961



I’ve got a lovely cigarette burn on my hand.  Quite like old times.  Well, seven months old times.  I was talking (and according to dad I’d be dumb if I didn’t have any hands) and I sorta stabbed myself.  Boy, did I yell.  They thought a bomb had dropped on the office.

I think I’m a bit daft.  No comments.  Pat’s on holiday at a hotel on the Isle of Wight.  As per arrangements I posted a letter to her on Tuesday.  Or rather, I gave it to Jennifer to post.  Thursday morning Jen asked me if I knew that the envelope didn’t have a name on it, just the hotel address.  The daft kid noticed it but she still went and posted it. So there is a letter floating around the Isle of Wight and when I think of its contents boy do I go cold! Yow!

I reckon the postman must think I’ve got shares in the GPO. Talk about a fan mail Thursday morning.  A letter from you, a letter from Pat and a list of my failings from Michael.  I didn’t need a book to read on the train.

It was Jennifer’s last day at school today.  Now, for six weeks I’ve got to put up with her lying in bed in the mornings laughing and asking whether I wish I was still at school or not.  I break more things during the school holidays than any other time.  I usually pick up something and throw it.  She started this evening but I thought of a jolly good answer to shut her up. ‘no, I’d rather be at work and have an easy time all the year.’  A lie but it sounds good.  Doesn’t seem like two years since I left school.  The time absolutely flies past.  I’ve got a theory why it goes quicker now. I reckon when you’re at school you look forward to the day you leave (I know I did.) so much that it crawls but when you do leave there’s nothing definite to wait for, so it flies.  See!

July 22nd


          You’ll never guess.  I’ve actually bought the bikini I promised myself. Dad thought the idea of me wearing a bikini was highly comical.  He kept walking around cracking jokes about how I always show him all the clothes I buy why not this. I didn’t try it on until they were all in bed. One thing is certain.  More money wasted because I wouldn’t have the nerve to wear it.  There is an awful long gap between the top and the bottom.

I went spending mad again this afternoon.  I bought some more fabric and a pair of sandals as well.  Now I’m minus £2 and there is still another week until pay day.  Oh to be rich.

Jean came round last night.  She finally got to write to the Holiday Camp. They’ve told her that if she sends the receipt to them they would return her deposit.  As treasurer of the company she had to come and get the receipt from me.

She’s all miserable cos Stan left today to spend sixteen days in Spain.  Everyone is becoming very sympathetic towards me now.  The letter I got from Pat was all about Robin and how she was missing him.  I wouldn’t mind, she had written it on her second day there.  Jean said she doesn’t know what she is gonna do for sixteen days.  They both said they don’t know how I’ve managed to get through seven months.  I got very righteous and said the idea grows on you.  It’s true though isn’t it?  I know I can’t see you for seven months and nothing can be done about it so I just had to grin and bear it.

I think these next two weeks are going to be the best out of the whole seven months.  I find I usually enjoy the few weeks before my holiday more than the holiday itself because when you are away you know that ‘this time next week’ it will all be over.  I don’t think that says what I mean.  I don’t mean I will enjoy looking forward to you coming home more than when you’re home……Oh, forget it!

Now, where was I?  During the next two weeks I’ll have time to think about you being home and after that this place will be in such a whirlwind that I won’t have time for anything.  I don’t want to go to Dorset.  All week I’ll be worrying about how we’re going to get the coach to come home.  For a start how on earth are we going to get up in time.  I find it hard enough to wake up with mum yelling in my ear.  Then there’s the problem of getting into Weymouth that time of the morning.  I just don’t want to go.

I got a letter from Lena this morning.  She has given me the flight number of the plane and sent the photo I asked for.  I don’t know if I told you that the original idea when we started talking about her coming over was that she would come over here one year and I’d go to Sweden the next.  In this letter she says we will have to talk about me going to Sweden.  It’s very awkward.  After being separated from you for seven months another two weeks is two too long.

Did I tell you about Carol dropping gentle hints about us going on the Broads with those two next year?  She and Clive want to go but a boat for two has only got one bedroom – or whatever you call it on a boat – although Carol says she doesn’t mind she says she doesn’t think her mother would think much of the idea.

That girl and her ‘hint dropping’.  Every time the Broads are mentioned she says it’s a dodgy business going on holiday with someone you don’t have confidential chats with.  She keeps saying ‘I don’t know what you’re like, do I? If we do go we’ll have to have a nice long talk.’  Every time she says it there is a nice long pause for me to open my heart to her but she’s disappointed every time.  I don’t know if she is implying that she and Clive want to share a cabin or not.  She may just be trying to find out if we want to.  Still, never did fancy the Broads.  I’d have to walk around with a life belt on all the time.

My aunt and my cousin didn’t pay their usual weekly visit to us this afternoon.  They waited until this evening and brought my uncle with them.  It was murder.  I was trying to watch a good play on television, my uncle and my dad were playing crib and it was the noisiest game I’ve ever heard.  Terry was chasing around a like mad thing and my aunt and my mother got stuck into a session of ‘do you remember?’  When they start on that it is always me they talk about.  The family classic that everyone laughs over is when I was given a banana and I broke it.  I refused to eat it unless somebody mended it. When they didn’t I squashed it all over a chair.  (I think I was about 3) The times I’ve heard that.  At my aunt’s request – because she felt like a ‘good laugh’ we got all the old photos down.  There is a prize one of me taken at three weeks old and when that comes out another family classic comes with it.  My uncle was in POW camp at that time and my mum sent him this photo.  He wrote back and said ‘what are you keeping, monkeys?’  I’ve never forgiven him for that.

          July 23rd


          Bored stiff, fed up and I think I’ll kill myself.  Definitely one of those days.  I’ve been trying to make a straight skirt since 2 o’clock this afternoon and d’you think the damn thing would go right.  It’s got lumps where it should be tight and I’ve sewn up pieces that should be open.  It’s awful.

They all went out this evening and I took a few minutes off to wash my hair.  Of course, that was the cue for Jennifer’s friend to knock on the door.  I went to the door dripping all over the place.  It’s funny when I heard the knock I got it into my head that it was Michael and I was shaking like mad.  It took me ages to recover.

I felt a bit peckish about 9.30 and started making the spaghetti a la Maureen.  Something good came on television so I shoved a lump of bread under the grill and came in to watch it.  When I did remember the bread the kitchen was full of smoke and my spaghetti had boiled dry.

The television was worth watching then.  There was Morecombe and Wise and Billy Dainty singing ‘The Mansfield, The Monroe and The Dors’ dressed up to suit the parts.  Two of them had long dresses but Wise was wearing tights and y’know, he’s got smashing legs for a woman.  They were all wearing blonde wigs and looked quite chic.

Whenever I’ve got a purse full of coppers I empty them into my money box then usually raid it at the end of the month.  I haven’t touched it for a couple of months but things are a bit desperate at the moment.  Anyone want to change 12/- worth of pennies?  I’m gonna need a sack to take to work tomorrow.  I did try to tell dad he wanted some change for his till but he insisted he didn’t.

I’ve told them I am not going to get up at all next Sunday as it is the last lie in I’ll be able to have for ages and ages.  Saturday I’ve got to be in Barking at nine to go with my aunt to take my nan to some place she is staying at while my aunt is on holiday.  Then the next weekend Lena is here.

Can’t think of anything else.  Think I’ll go to bed.

I said in my last letter that I was expecting one from you the next day.  Well, I got it.  Hope the same applies this time.

See ya in 53 days.

Love from your


Letters from Maureen Week 28: 17th - 23rd July 1961

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